RLGL: Round 1 Results COMPLETE


If I received your submission by 9AM CST on March 6, your results have been posted. If you did not receive a number and you did turn in your submission to the sub address before the aforementioned deadline, please email me at cynthealiu AT gmail DOT com, and forward your email submission that you sent AND explain what’s wrong.

*Do not send new submissions to Cynthea’s personal email address, only inquiries if something is wrong.*

Round 1 closed at 9AM CST on March 6. Round 2 is open until March 9, 6PM CST.

Results for Round 2 will appear in a new post, not this one. So make sure you are refreshing the home page at www.wfcat.com to see any new posts.

For those of you who submitted after the Round 1 deadline, your submission will be part of Round 2 results. If you are part of Round 2 and have not received a number, that is because Kissy has not assigned it yet. So please DO NOT REPLY to what you already sent, asking about your number because that will change the order in which Kissy reads your email, causing him to miss it for the round you are supposed to be in.

It is so important that you continue to wait until the post says the results are COMPLETE for your round before you email and ask Kissy what when wrong, if you felt something has. To do so prior to the round will really screw up his focus and recordkeeping. So please hold all emails until the round is COMPLETE.

This post on this website will say the word COMPLETE, very clearly in the headline.

Woof! 🙂

Also, if you have an * next to your result for your number that means that Kissy’s paw is twitching. He’s tempted to send you back to the starting line to present a different work. So make sure your next page is even better than the last, if you can improve upon it. If no asterisk appears, it means that Kissy wants to see what happens on the next page, but it does NOT mean two paws up, way to go! necessarily.

So keep your eye on the fuzzy tennis ball and do not let your writing or story slip.  No asterisk just means that he will turn the page.


RLGL Format Back to Start Send Next Page Notes
1 MG X
2 YA X* Feels a shade overwritten. Try not to narrate every minor movement to this level of excrutiating detail. Use touches where it’s important.  Forget the rest.
3 PB X* Story feels a bit older for the picture book market
4 YA X
5 MG X
6 PB X* Hoping this will not read like a punch-line
7 PB X* Not usual PB fare, this one may be a tough one to market, given the characters, but let’s see where this go. Well-written/vivid.
8 PB X Interesting idea, but the MC did not seem compelling to follow. Consider shortening the intro. A bit repetitive.
9 MG X* Circle the # of physical actions in this 1/2 page. Give me what’s important. It’s a bit frenetic to read.
10 PB X* Seems long and wordy for a PB opening. Hmm…
11 PB X* Concerned this premise has been done recently several times, but maybe this one’s execution is even better. Let’s hope!
12 PB X* A bit hard to understand for a PB audience, but let’s see where this goes.
13 YA X* Not the strongest start for YA in terms of content, but let’s see where this goes.
14 PB X It’s not the concept as much as it is the notion that this animal would not eat what she wants so desperately to have, preface this early on if it’s nonsensical for the species so the reading is more comfortable.
15 PB X Premise wasn’t right for this pooch, but try again with another story!
16 PB X
17 PB X This reads older in style and age of the MC for PB audience; also need a more compelling opening. This feels a bit every-dayish.
18 PB X This would definitely fit chapter book format better for voice and situation, when compared to the typical picture book.
19 PB X Premise did not seem appealing for this pooch. Try again with another story!
20 PB X Difficult to follow what was happening.
21 PB X Concept seems workable, but execution felt flat. Commonplace scenarios in PBs could stand to be more fictionalized to make this more compelling.
22 PB X
23 PB X Premise wasn’t right for this pooch, but try again with another story! Nice humor though
24 PB X* Great title but execution feels mature for PB audience. The pooch will give it another page because the concept is great. Let’s see where this goes
25 PB X Mixed feelings on this premise. Seemed cute but oddly violent? at the same time. A few tweaks should fix this
26 MG X* This seems fun, but the pooch is not that into the species of the MC. However, he is curious to see what happens next.
27 PB X* This premise is giving Kissy flashbacks. Slightly concerned that this is reading a bit darker than it should as an opening for a PB.
28 PB X* This is probably not every editor’s cup of tea, but we want to see what happens next
29 PB X While well-written, for the PB format this reads a bit too much like a longer work, given the narrative style. Also, very every-dayish too, that it doesn’t immediately demand the pooch’s attention
30 YA X* A bit confusing which way she’s going, why, and time of day.
31 PB X We think we may have seen this one before, but regardless the premise feels every-dayish / like typical from kids and their imaginations versus something that’s fictionalized
32 PB X Concept seems too loose, given the species and what they are talking about. Motivate your choice of animal. Also as an opener, this is quite chatty.
33 PB X While quite realistic, this felt like a commonplace/veryday situation and doesn’t quite make for a unique and grabbing PB opener.  The style also leans toward something more commonly seen in longer works.
34 PB X This was also another PB that opened with a fairly commonplace situation. This could be pushed a lot further to make it standout better among the competition.


RLGL Format Back to Start Send Next Page Notes
35 PB X* Feels like the animal species was picked at random, switching up the situations to match the species better would make this a lot stronger. Good PB topic. Let’s see if the next part really comes together.
36 YA X Man, Kissy really want to like this more, but because the piece was difficult to comprehend upon first scan and then required another slow re-read to truly understand what was happening, it got sent back to start. Imagine that overworked editor at the desk, wanting to take the next subway home and it’s already 8pm. Make sure your first page is clear. A pooch shouldn’t have to work so hard. Do not sacrifice clarity and story for the sake of the writing.
37 PB X Couldn’t quite connect with the premise. And there’s a lot to follow in 125 words.  Concept also feels a bit loose.
38 YA X
39 YA X* This feels like it’s trying a little too hard to establish the character’s distinguishing physical straight.  We could probably get the same idea with only 20% of the words use so we can get to the setup faster. Also if the character sounds a bit hyperfocused in this way, it makes her seem one-dimensional, which I don’t believe is the actual case.
40 YA X* Interesting. But watch for things like casting eyes around as if they are being thrown around. Also you have an “eye” echo in the first two lines. Simple fix. But opening lines are important so I’m bringing this up.
41 PB X* We have to be careful of always making mom appear so early in a PB if Mom is just going to be standard Mom talking standard Mom-talk – I only say this because it’s tempting to do that when a child has a problem, but it also makes your manuscript start to read like so many manuscripts Kissy gets. So make sure your opening lines don’t sound like everyone else’s if you can help it.
42 YA X* There’s some awwkardness in the writing but easily fixed, however if it gets worse, you might get the paw.  So watch your words carefuly. Be careful of narrating every physical action to the point that it feels reportly.
43 ER X* This feels like it’s being pitched for the wrong format. PB may be much more suitable. Let’s see what happens next.
44 YA X* This feels a bit everywhere-  the disparate elements in such a short span seems a bit hard to put together. However, I will read on to see if it comes together a bit better. This may not be the best opening for your book.
45 MG X* Explain why he gets such a special privilege, this better be in the next few lines. Answer questions for the reader when the reader would raise the question if the answer is something the character would know and you’ve setup the proper context to answer it. In other words, don’t frustrate your reader.
46 PB X This feels commonplace/ slice of life-ish.  Again, it’s well written for a short story, but for a major trade publisher PB, it needs to really stand out story-wise – illustration-wise. I think the premise is good, but the execution could be re-envisioned to make it much stronger.
47 PB X This felt a little old for a picture book, especially if the children are writing such vivid letters. Consider reshaping your character for a longer work.
48 PB X Check out other comments about everyday situations and also Mom appearing so early in the manuscript saying Mom-like things. While it’s possible to open a PB this way, it can start to look like everything else quite quickly. This premise is also very common and a good one because children are so like this!, however execution needs to truly be unique to make this stand-out better as a PB manuscript.
49 PB X Same comment as 48’s. Except in this case it’s Dad playing standard-Dad. Again, good premise, execution needs to stand-out for this pooch.
50 PB X
51 PB X See comments 48 and 49. Great subject; need unique execution of the subject or this will not demand the pooch’s attention. 🙁
52 PB X* This seems to take the long route to drive a point home but let’s see what happens next. Will this be more than just a book about what her problem is? Or is there more to this?
53 MG X Hard to understand what the set-up or premise might be in this first 1/2 page. Reconsider your opening to draw the pooch in.
54 PB X* I would rework the title, interesting concept.


55 YA X* This reads like MG, versus YA as an opener, but let’s see where this goes
56 MG X
57 MG X* Dialogue feels a bit forced. Considered using interior dialogue instead.
58 PB X* Using a common household item to describe where this animal sleeps seems a bit odd. I’d rework? Feels forced in the rhyme.
59 MG X* Be careful, feels a shade overwritten which is effecting the story’s ability to get to the point. Tighten
60 PB X First 125 words please. Resubmit first 125 words into the next round.
61 PB X* Concerned about the premise, but enjoy the humor. Tighten. This is pretty wordy.
62 YA X* This feels a bit melodramatic as an opener and is a pretty common kind of beginning. I’d rework your opening lines to make this sound more unique as a story starter
63 YA X Watch for the animal-action references – once is fine, twice seems a little odd given the context and location. Minor comment/easy fix.
64 PB X Did not know what to make of this. Seems very long for a PB text, given how little was covered in 125 words. Also hard to follow what exactly is important for the story? The writing style seems better suited for a longer work.
65 MG X* The first few lines feel tacked on, compared to the rest.
66 MG X* Set the main character. A bit confusing to read. A lot being conveyed in 125 words so it’s important to make sure the pooch can picture this better.
67 PB X This has potential but doesn’t go far enough to feel like the execution is strong enough. Gotta make the resolution much more clever. We don’t want this to read like a punchline. It needs to have bit more depth as a story.  (Meaning)
68 YA X* Definitely rework this opening; there’s so much focus on interior decorating, it breaks character. What is your MC’s true focus as she hears what’s going on? Would she really describe ALL of these things in the way that she has in such a short span, given what is happening at the moment?
69 PB X
70 PB X* Very odd premise, not sure what to make of this, but I’ll see what happens next.
71 PB X Could not understand what was happening in the story and what the specific conflict might be for the characters. Kissy is scratching his head over here.
72 MG X* The shift in time is a little awkward. Smooth that out or begin where the story truly begins.
73 PB X The story didn’t feel compelling enough to keep this pup’s interest. It’s got a very every-dayish kind of feel to it and he wonders what the theme of this book is. Does not feel like it has a strong takeaway, either. PB manuscripts need to stand out to get noticed. Go bigger with your storytelling.
74 PB X See 48.
75 PB X Could not connect with the premise. Feels slight and punch-liney. Great humor though, just wish the story felt more substantial.
76 YA X* This feels overwritten – strive for clarity. The logic is a bit circular and I’m left wondering what I’m supposed to truly gain from these 125 words.
77 MG X* See 76.  See if you can keep the time linear in this opening so it’s less confusing. This is in the present, then in the past, this in the present again so quickly.  Jarring
78 PB X Execution feels a bit loose. Motivate the circumstances better, explain why your MC has this problem more clearly. And why would the second creature even bother helping. Also be mindful that these creatures aren’t very familiar to the PB audience.
79 PB X See 75.
80 YA X* Watch the overwriting. Whenever you have inanimate objects performing actions that humans would do, It often sounds awkward, especially if done multiple times in succesion. Simplify the writing for clarity’s sake. Too often writers overwrite their first lines, which gives the feeling of “trying too hard.”
81 PB X* This feels very wordy for a PB, but the pooch wants to see what happens next. Tighten the writing.
82 PB X See 48. While stories about real-life imaginings are fun, stories that we make up that sound real, given the context of the story, even though we know it has to be made up is “fiction.” This texts reads more like non-fiction about fiction because we could easily do this on our own today as children and parents. But what about the stuff we cannot do as children? What about the characters and situations that are completely made-up that we will not ever see in real-life today? Stories like those stand out better as PB fiction. that’s not to say that this doesn’t have merit, but countless others have written this story in some fashion or another.  In terms of major trade publisher thinking, this is something to consider when compared to your competition.
83 PB X Execution feels a bit loose and for this age group, a lot of kiddo’s don’t quite get the kind of place they live in, just yet. However, if you set this up better, it could work.
84 ER X This does not fit an ER fomat. e.g. controlled vocabulary, sentence structure, etc. This reads like something from a longer work.
85 MG X* Need better context as to what the quest is so I’m not left confused about why this is important to the MC
86 PB X Unfortunately, we’ve seen this storyline before multiple times. It’s a good concept, however the execution feel wordy and a bit every-dayish as an opener. Can we find a more zippy and distintive way to write this story?
87 PB X* This feels a bit mature and the premise odd, but I’ll see where this goes.
88 YA X This seems a bit forced as an opening. What motivates the MC to be awake earlier than usual? To give the writer a chance to layout the setting and see who is coming in? Seems kind of obvious to the point that this doesn’t feel natural. I’d rework the opening so that the character’s and their actions feel much more motivated.
89 PB X Didn’t connect with the premise. Also seems to take the long route to get to the potential conflict and why the reader should empathize or care.
90 CB X* The first line seems like a bait and switch. Try not to do this. If she doesn’t really have this gift, then don’t give the impression of this on line one, only to make her sound ordinary again a few lines later.
91 MG X
92 YA X
93 YA X* Feels a shade overwritten. Check out the third line and count the number of words before it gets to the subject and verb of the sentence. Also the shift from present to past to present in three lines feels forced as well. Easy fixes but worth doing if these are your opening lines.
94 PB X Could not connect with the premise. Feels a bit uninmportant as an opener. Why does this matter? Why should the reader care? Wish the story felt more substantial in these opening line.
95 PB X This reads a bit older for the PB crowd, given the voice of the M.C. Also this feels a bit every-dayish too for a major trade PB.
96 YA X
97 MG X
98 PB X* Very wordy for a PB and the point is made more than enough. Tighten the writing and increase the pace. Not a lot of plot is covered in these 125 words and it makes me wonder if this one is a bit long overall.
99 PB X* Feels a bit wordy so tighten the writing and make the opener sound like something is at stake. It seems like it doesn’t really matter at all. Hmmm… Rework
100 PB X* I like this premise, but the execution feels a bit ordinary. How can you make this text more fun to read, zippier? More charming?
101 PB X Was not compelled by the premise. A bit too gross for this pup. And the way this presented feels slight?
102 PB X Interesting way to use the format, however how can you make this book have more market value? (Emotional value, social value, or educational value) so it does not come off as slight.
103 MG X These opening lines are awkward to read, jam-packed with description where inanimate objects are doing all the actions. It isn’t until the next graph that we even see a character appear. Tell more, by describing less. Move the story forward as you “paint” the scene in with setting.  Resist dumping it all in like this in the first few lines.
104 PB X
105 PB X* The rhyme is not coming in as strong as it could, but curious to see where this goes.
106 PB X* Watcht the rhyme. A few stumbles.
107 MG X* Feel a bit left out of the MC’s head while he’s doing all of these things.
108 PB X Don’t quite understand the premise and where this is headed. Title feels a a little old for PB audience too.
109 PB X* Wish I understood the significance of each custom as they are addressed. That would improve this story a lot.
110 PB X This feels like it should be a longer work, given the style. Also a bit too everydayish for a major trade PB text.
111 PB X Didn’t quite follow what was happening until the second read. And even then it seems a bit too loose when put together for this pup. Try a different work!
112 YA X
113 PB X This felt a bit everyday-ish. True to life, but what makes this story truly stand out as a fiction picture book? Can you write this story in a way that moves away from real-life and into larger-than-life PB fiction?
114 PB X Rhyme is not quite coming in a as well as it could, but overall, the story felt a bit light in content. Go for bigger purpose/meaning with these characters pr higher educational value to make it more marketable.
115 PB X This feels a bit too episodic and  talks about imagination versus being a truly cohesive story in itself. Shark Vs. Train is a good example of imagination in progress with somewhat of a story-line to follow and educational value as well.  It, too, is episodic but use that for a reference when you think about upping the market value of your work.
116 YA X* A bit mysterious in an almost frustrating way so I hope this is all explained in the next lines or I will be left with a big, say what?
117 NA X The time sequence of these opening lines for the sake of foreshadowing is a bit hard to follow. It goes from present, to referring to the future, back to the present, then a reference to the future, then back to the present, then back to the future then to the past. PHEW. Not worth it. Rethink your opening. Don’t try this hard to compel your reader.
118 PB X The premise seems slight, not significant enough to carry a picture book. The opening lines also feel light on story as well.
119 MG X* Opening feels a bit rushed. Not sure I understand how everyone relates to another and where the main characters are in relation to everything else.
120 MG X The way these opening lines read feels so impersonal and generic. Can we liven up these opening lines? Make this feel more real. Perhaps use names, internal monologue for the main character, etc? Bring me into the story. Resist just reporting the facts.
121 YA X
122 PB X Could not connect with the premise. Feels slight and punch-liney. Needs to have more market value as a major trade PB concept.
123 PB X This feels really casual/every-dayish. Is this enough to carry a PB? These opening lines do not feel distinctive enough. Consider the theme of your story and see if there is a way to fictioanlize this even more so that it does not start to read like a lot of other manuscripts Kissy chews on.


15 thoughts on “RLGL: Round 1 Results COMPLETE

  1. Hi Cynthia. I sent in my MG beginning the night before the deadline. I never got a return email from you giving me my #. Did you not get my email? I notice there are four MG entries above, is one of them mine, and I just missed getting the email from you with my #. Thanks, Janet

  2. Cynthea, uh, I mean, Kissy,

    For round 2, do we add/attach “page 2” to the page 1 we already sent? Or do we send those 250 words by themselves?
    Thanks in advance for Clarifying! Susan

    p.s. Sending a plate full of warm bacon since I disturbed your reading, Kissy!

  3. Hi, Cynthia,

    I got my number for the 1st round, but I do not see
    any postings after 55. Where do I find the number and comments?


  4. Linda,
    Just be patient. Not all the numbers and comments have been posted yet. I’m still waiting for my number even. I’m sure Cynthia and Kissy have a lot of reading, commenting, and deciding to do. Just keep an eye on the page frequently for updates. As long as it still says Round 1 in In Process it’s not over yet.

  5. Linda,
    Just be patient. Cynthia and Kissy have lots of reading, commenting, and deciding to do along with every day life ‘stuff’. I’m still waiting for my number even. As long as Round 1 still says In Process, you know it’s not over. So just keep checking back for updates.


  6. Thanks for doing such a fun contest! Looks like a ton of work for you, but very valuable feedback for us.

  7. Hi, Cynthia
    Not sure if my number is correct. It is a PB but next to my number in the listings above it says MG.
    Can you check?

  8. Thanks Cynthea! Just wanted to make sure before sending an email too soon. Just sent page one of a new work.
    Hope Kissy enjoyed chewing on my first ms (that’s why I use bacon flavored paper!) 🙂

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