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Rate Your Story is currently open to submissions from Members. The Submission Window for Members runs yearly from the January 5 - November 15th.  Please note that Speedpasses WILL be open during the holiday and throughout the year should you have an urgent need.

We limit submissions to one (1) submission per week and no more than four (4) submissions in any given month up to your total amount of eighteen (18) total submissions. But no worries if you use these up -- we do offer Member Speedpasses at a discounted price ($15 instead of $25). 

We will make our best effort to have all submissions returned to you by November 30th and then the Judges will get to enjoy their winter holidays. Any unused submissions do not roll over to the next year. It is a separate enrollment -- we do hope you will have used your submissions effectively and will return for a new year. 


You will need to adhere to the guidelines below in order for your manuscript to be read and rated. 


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



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.

Header (for all Member Submissions)

As an addition to this, we now require that you number your submissions. For example:

[#1 of #18] Moldilocks and the Three Scares (F/PB) by Lynne Marie 

If your manuscript rhymes, that should be noted in the subject line as well. Possible genres include:

PB - Picture Book

R - Rhyme

F - Fiction 

NF - Non Fiction  

Q - Query Letter 

Length (for all submissions)  

Fiction Picture Books 800 Words or Less 

Non-Fiction Picture Books 1,250 Words or Less 


No exceptions, please.


File Type  




Double-Spaced, Size 12 or 14 font, Times New Roman or Arial font (or similar, like Merriweather), black text. Both the cover letter and the document must have the title and author name, as well as the word count. 


If you signed up under another person's e-mail address that should also be included in each cover letter. Please note that it is very easy to add an e-mail address to a Paypal Account and using your own e-mail address would avoid a lot of confusion for us and other people/organizations. 


Please attach your Membership payment receipt to your first submission. 

Email Subject Line For SPEED PASS 

[SPEEDPASS] Title by Author (1 Week / 3 Day, etc. F/PB) 

Sending Multiple Submissions 

Due to too many people taking advantage of this option, this is, unfortunately, not allowed. You are welcome to send another manuscript one week after the first.


Also, 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. We highly encourage you to take time (weeks, not days or hours) when revising your work in between submissions.

Guest Guru Submissions

If you wish for your submission to be considered for the Guest Guru, please send early on in the month. In that you can only send one submission in the first week, please send your best, most targeted work. Please note in the body of your e-mail that you wish to be considered for a Guest Guru Rating and Feedback. We will try to get to as many people as we can. 

Auto Response Message

When your email reaches our inbox, you will get an auto reply 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 children’s picture book (or board book) story–including humor, fantasy, satire, sci fi, flash fiction, fable, retold folk tales, non-fiction etc.  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. Query letters are allowed as long as they fall within the word count limit. Children’s Magazine articles for younger readers may be submitted but there may be longer waits for a targeted judge. 


Not Allowed

Any Adult or Explicit 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 'unrate-able' without notifying the sender.



Prepare your submission as directed according to guidelines above.


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


For Admin Questions not in connection with a particular manuscript, e-mail


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


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.


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. Please feel free to send it again or inquire about the status of your critique rating if you do not hear back in three weeks.  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. 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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