Rate Your Story is currently open to submissions from 2020 members and Speed Pass users. 

You will need to adhere to the guidelines below in order for your manuscript to be read and rated. Please note, if you are a nonmember and are submitting on a "Free Submission Day" our member submissions will be filed in a priority inbox, and given preference in the read/rating order. 

*SPEED PASS users—please read our guidelines below and follow the instructions at checkout to ensure that your manuscript is quickly sorted and distributed.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (updated 10/24/17)

All Rate Your Story Submissions must be made electronically through our currently listed submissions email on the contact page.  We do not rate hard copies, nor will we visit your website to read and rate a submission.  Please follow the guidelines below.


Length (for all submissions)  

2,000 words or less.  No exceptions, please.


File Type  

.DOC, or .DOCX PREFERRED, but will accept PDF or story pasted in email body (please note if you submit as PDF or in the email body, various judges who offer bonus comments on the manuscript will not be able to do so).



Double-Spaced, Size 12, Times New Roman or Arial font, black text.


Please include your email address and a word count in the header of the attachment.


Email Subject Line For MEMBERS  

Please include SUBMISSION, TITLE and GENRE in the email subject line when emailing your submission to Rate Your Story. *Note: If your submission is a query letter, please replace the TITLE with the words QUERY LETTER instead.


Email Subject Line For NONMEMBERS on a FREE DAY  

Please include FREE DAY, SUBMISSION, TITLE and GENRE in the email subject line when emailing your submission to Rate Your Story. *Note: Nonmembers may follow our guidelines for manuscript submissions. We do not accept query letter submissions from nonmembers unless you are purchasing a Speed Pass. 


Email Subject Line For SPEED PASS 

Please include SPEEDPASS, SUBMISSION, TITLE and GENRE in the email subject line when emailing your submission to Rate Your Story. Speed pass users, please follow instructions from checkout message. *Note: If your submission is a query letter, please replace the TITLE with the words QUERY LETTER instead.

Sending Multiple Submissions 

Please send each submission as a separate submission (e.g. don't attach four manuscripts to the same email). Nonmembers or members using the free critique service may submit one manuscript per open submission day. After that manuscript has been returned to you with a free critique rating, then we will accept another (one) submission from you on the next available open submission day. Members may submit multiple manuscripts within the same month, but we do prefer a separate email with each manuscript. You are free to re-submit stories to RYS once they've been revised, however, please remember that a revision submission counts as a regular submission. Furthermore, we politely ask that no manuscript be sent more than three times. It's hard for our judges to see an MS with fresh eyes after that. We highly encourage you to take time (weeks, not days or hours) when revising your work in between submissions.

Auto Response Message

When your email reaches our inbox, you will get an autoreply as confirmation that your email has been received. Note: If you send more than one email with the same subject line or if you send more than one manuscript in the same month, you might only receive one auto-response.



Any genre of story–including humor, fantasy, satire, sci fi, flash fiction, fable, retold folk tales, etc.  It can be a board book text, picture book manuscript, short story for adults, teens, or written for anyone in between. Poetry is allowed AS LONG AS it tells a clear story (such as a rhyming picture book) with plot and characters. Non-fiction stories are allowed AS LONG AS they are written in a story format with a beginning, middle, and end–such as a short memoir. Query letters are allowed as long as they fall within the word count limit. No articles, please.


Not Allowed

Explicit adult material (including overly erotic love scenes, distasteful use of curse words, extremely violent or threatening material, or anything deemed overtly discriminatory, racist, or prejudice against any group of human beings). We reserve the right to delete any submission that we deem 'unratable' without notifying the sender.



  1. Prepare your submission as directed according to guidelines above.

  2. Visit our contact page. Write down the current Rate Your Story submissions address listed.

  3. In your submission email, be sure to include the subject lines as listed in the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES above. 

  4. Within the body of the email, feel free to include any pertinent information the judge should consider when rating it (i.e. target age group, written for a particular market, "I'm from Australia, not the USA").  Do not say, however, "this is a work in progress" - we judge all stories as finished stories! Although I can't guarantee each judge will give proper time to your email or cover letter, they may.

  5. We prefer that your manuscript is an attachment (see: File Types above).  If you are having problems, you may copy and paste your story into the email body.  Keep in mind that most formatting will be lost and your rating may be affected (lowered) by the interruption of line breaks to the person reading it. DO NOT SEND A LINK to a webpage, Google Doc, or other download.

How long will it take?

Average wait times are 1-3 weeks for members, 3-6 weeks for nonmembers. Please feel free to send it again or inquire about the status of your critique rating if you do not hear back within that time frame.  Your submission may not have reached us. Please pay attention to whether or not we are open or closed to submissions, as this will affect response times. Nonmembers: If you send a manuscript on a day other than our regular submission day, it is unlikely that you will receive a reply and your manuscript will be ignored or deleted. Members: we will do our best to get back to you; times will vary based on submission volume! Thank you for your patience.


By submitting your work to Rate Your Story, you represent that you have read and understand our Terms and Conditions as listed here:

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