RLGL Round 3 COMPLETE, Round 5 Deadline March 20, 8pm CST


PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SEND RLGL ENTRIES TO THE SUB ADDRESS. Woof! Cynthea’s personal email box is for addressing issues only. Put it this way: To get in line, you need to stand in the right line. Nothing worse than getting to the front of the line after waiting for days, only to realize you were in the wrong line the whole time.

If you do not see a response next to your number, please verify that your entry was sent to the correct address in the proper format, etc. before the Round 3 deadline on March 12, 8PM CST. If it was, and you titled your email correctly, etc., then forward your old email to the cynthea address  and tell us what’s wrong. If you did not send in your entry in time and everything else was correct, your results will appear in Round 4 or Round 5, depending upon when you sent it. DO NOT REPLY TO OLD ENTRY emails. This really screws up the order of Kissy’s emails. If you plain messed it all up, send in your entry with everything corrected to the sub address and it will be reviewed in the round it was received in.

Round 3 Entrants who were waiting for results in order to proceed to Round 4 (#1-#205): If you passed, your entry will be part of Round 4 if you submit your page by March 19, 8PM CST. If we don’t get it by then, your entry will be part of Round 5.

NEW ENTRANTS: Any *new* entries received up until March 20, 8PM CST will go into Round 5.

Please do your very best not to send emails until AFTER your round is COMPLETE.


#                Format      Back to Start  Send Next Pg   Notes

0 MG X
1 MG X* there’s some strong writing here, but stay on topic, the MC’s thoughts wanders off a bit too much, given the context. What she wants to say but is prevented from saying. Focus on that, not scenery, necessarily unless it specifically relates to what she wants.
4 YA X* Kissy’s paw is really shaking. There were a number of forced details In this one. Watch the character’s thoughts. Are they al motivated, given the context of the scene? Is she highly distractable or is this the author trying to work some stuff in, at the wrong time? Watch for this.
5 MG
9 MG X* Good topic, but it seems hung up on it a shade. Round it out more, versus singly focused on … look, here’s a book about X. See? It’s a bit too self-aware, but some minor tweaking and you should be good to go.
11 PB X This one seems to lose its focus with other characters who aren’t quite related and their backstory isn’t used in an innovate way that affects the storyline. We like some idea of this but strip it down and go back to the main point of the story and work out the stuff that’s distracting. Also come up with a resolution that’s a bit more clever. This one felt a bit too easy.
12 PB
16 PB X This had a ton of charm but ultimately the ending fell flat for me. How can you make the theme of friendship become the heart of this story. Versus something that felt more like a punchline.
22 PB
24 PB X This reads so much like a punchline. Give this one more meat. The topic is sooo promising but think even MORE out of the box so that this feels like it has a lot of heart, too. Not just a few chuckles. Also consider making the title and premise more gende-neutral to make this even more marketable. Expand the idea.
28 PB
30 YA X* The thoughts seem out of order here. Stay with your character as much as possible. After an incident like the previous page, what would be the first think she’d think on the next page?
38 YA X
40 YA
42 YA X* There seems to be some unnatural foreshadowing going on. Keep in mind, this is in first person, stay in her head and what she’d really be thinking at that time.
43 ER X* Feels like this needs a bit more spark to stand out. Let’s see where this goes.
45 MG X* Make sure that this is conceivable for realistic fiction. Don’t bend the rules of real law in this case. This is kind of  like writing a realistic fiction book and basing it entirely on the fact that the kid can drive a car at 12 in his/her state.  Don’t mislead the reader in this way. Spin this so the end result is the same.
50 PB X
54 PB X This idea has potential, it’s quirky and important, however the ending didn’t feel like much of a struggle. Kind of pat and easily tidied up with a nice little bow. See if you can make this a bit less literal and a little more sly. Also let’s see the story arc increase in intensitiy with a surprising climax to make this even more engaging.
56 MG X* Feel a bit disoriented. Not sure what their roles are and what the concept is, exactly. Also watch for forced details that would not be thought ,given the circumstances.
57 MG X* Really try to avoid jamming in backstory in dialogue this way. Reads so unnaturally. Keep doing this and this one is getting the paw.
59 MG X This was a bit disorienting. With all the elements on page 1 and page 2. Slow down a   bit, stay on topic given the context of the scene.
62 YA X
63 YA
65 MG X* Some of the dialogue is anticipating the author’s thoughts, not the character’s. Stay with your characters. Don’t force in background info or details that the character really wouldn’t be thinking at that moment.
66 MG
69 PB
72 MG X
76 YA X this meaners from topic to topic quite a bit and the pooch is raising a furry eyebrow about what to do with all this information. It’s a bit “too” heady at the moment and he’s lost interest. The writing is good, just needs more control so that the story can move forward. Characterization is just one part of storytelling, The forward action needs to be  clearer here.
77 MG
85 MG No entry
90 CB X Unfortunately, the voice seemed too disjointed for this pooch. Sometimes young for his age, sometimes too old for his age. Consider NOT trying to get too creative with this and smooth it out. It’s rare to have someone this young carrying a chapter book unless your character is Junie B. Jones and her voice was pitch-perfect. The pooch is worried others may think this doesn’t come up to par in comparison.
91 MG X* There’s some technical stuff with the writing that’s making this harder to picture than this should. The story seems unique, but I’m concerned about the writing. There’s a heavy reliance on dialogue versus internal monologue or plain old narration to convey visual detals.  KIssy’s paw is shaking.
92 YA
93 YA
96 YA X
97 MG
104 PB
105 PB X In the end, this felt a bit too repetitive and the ending felt pat? See if you can make this a bit more clever and unpredictable? Think of the story arc – rising action, climax, etc.
106 PB
107 MG
109 PB
112 YA X Not believing the grief here. Compare page 1 to 2. Is it really the worst thing in the world if the next page there’s teasing and joking? Have to be really careful when starting a book with a death of a loved one.  There’s good writing here, but the believability factor sailed southward fast.
116 YA X In the end this moves at a minutia-like speed, and the overall effect is that it feels a bit melodramatic even though the scene is supposed to be quite dire. Find the balance between dramatic effect and melodrama. More subtletly, less overwriting is key here.
119 MG X* Parts of this feel YA, hmmm… Watch for forcing of details that don’t matter, given the scene.
121 YA X
125 YA X
128 MG
129 YA X* This is going to sound weird, but see if you can make the voice less down-on-oneself sounding so that when we get the dismal news we are still inspired to read about her in the following pages. Too woe-is-me and it’s just not exciting to read.
134 MG X
135 PB X In the end the compare/contrast thing is great, but the execution just didn’t feel unique enough. Like other comments, this is something we can see everyday. Find a new way to spin this so its like nothing else.
137 MG X* A bit jarring to realize these are children when the opening made one think it was adults. Feel a bit misled.
147 YA
150 MG
151 MG
153 PB X In the end, the concept felt good, but the execution fell flat. How can this story become more clearly suspenseful and informative at the same time. Right now, it feels like the MC is just going through the motions
154 MG X* Did the POV switch? Sounded like 3rd person, then went to first. SO many names in a one page, too, hard to keep track. Slow down and situate the reader a bit better. Kissy’s paw is twitching
155 PB X In the end, this becamse too repetitive and the focus was so narrow. See if you can turn this into a larger story, broader story with a clearer takeaway by story’s end
157 MG X* While these details are great, you only need about half of this to make your point, watch your pacing
160 PB X The plotting of this is a bit forced for the “suprising reveal” at the end.  As an informative book, it begs the question why the last stop was the stop that it was, given that everything else was in order, except for that thing.  Be consistently factual or this will get criticized for the convenience of the solution.
161 MG X
163 CB X* the backstory feels a bit jammed in and we wondered if this was set in the past or current day time, given what the character is doing
164 PB X Ultimately this one read a bit too much like the Napping House and the ending didn’t have a true result that was much different from the beginning. However,  this topic does deserve its own book. To make this more worthwhile, it could stand to be more factual versus “inspired” by one small event as a creative nonfiction piece.
166 YA X* Small little breaks in the nemesis voice. Watch for this.
167 PB X Ultimately, this just felt more repetitive than going somewhere. It wasn’t clear why this mattered despite the cute character.
168 PB X Ultimately we weren’t drawn in by the storyline. While sweet and charming, it just didn’t resonate with this pooch. Try again with a different work.
171 PB X The conclusion doesn’t feel motivated, given all that the MC has done that seems mean. The theme however is admirable; we just wished the pooch could have been convinced by the outcome. Think story arc: obstacles of increasing difficulty, climax, and clever resolution to help this along.
172 PB
173 MG X* Unclear what the MC is apprehensive about.  Clarify so we know what to be apprehensive about as readers.
174 PB X This has a certain charm to it, but the story feels too light for a PB. Consider an ER format with these two characters.
177 PB X Unfortunately, this just felt like a repetitive series of stanzas and didn’t quite build up to anything more involving than the first page. Consider story arc when writing any great PB story. Rising action, climax, etc.
180 PB X Unfortunately, this just didn’t take it far enough in a different direction than the original. Look at other fractured fairy tales as examples of how far you may need to go to be commercially successful with something like this.
183 MG X
187 MG X Make sure you send in the full 250 words when you send pages after page 1 in the manuscript.
188 PB X Cute but is there a theme? A so-what? We hope so.
190 PB
191 YA
196 PB X*  This is starting to feel a bit too predictable or not distinctive enough.  How can you modify this so that certain details make this character irresistable?
197 PB X Ultimately, the pooch did not connect wit the premise. Why does this matter? What is this about? A beautiful journey is great, but the question is why must a pup get on board?
201 CB X This one feels a bit too hard to place in the marketplace when the pooch thinks about it. A lot of the professional concepts seems a bit out of reach for even the chapter book crowd. There’s more adult humor to this than you would think. Consider modifying the MC’s profession to something children understand a lot more readily.
203 PB
204 MG X* This is so bizarre. One more page, the naming of people and things is irritatingly repetitive. Kissy’s paw is shaking.
205 MG
206 YA X This beginning feels like it’s trying a bit too hard. The opening lines quickly become something much more grave that there doesn’t seem to be the right context to motivate the character to think those lines, given the situation. Feels a bit too forced?
207 MG X
208 PB X* This feels like it might be slight overall, but we will see how this goes.
209 MG X
210 PB X* I’ll see where this goes because of the child-like qualities of the characters, charm, but this seems very short storyish
211 ER X* While the sentence length feels like an ER, the word choice seems off. The character seems unique though so we will see where this goes. It has charm
212 PB X Not sure if this premise is gonna work, but you made the pooch chuckle.
213 MG X Unclear who this is narrated by and why he/she would see this
214 MG X* Be careful of stereotypical mom types showing up within the first few lines of a manuscript. Doesn’t come off as origjnal
215 PB X The opening here feels very plain and not particularly unique in terms of what’s happening. Get your story off to a stronger start!
216 PB X Could not connect with  the premise. Please try a different work.
217 PB X See comments from previous rounds about imagination as the premise /coupled with an everyday scene.
218 PB X The opening here just didn’t have the spark we are looking for. This feels a bit too everydayish as written.
219 YA X* Watch spelling and punctuation. Set the scene a bit better. A bit hard to picture
220 MG X Characterization here feels very forced as an opener, and collectively reads a bit too unappealing
221 PB X* Unclear what the MC is doing, but interesting setup
222 CB X This reads a bit sparse in content for a chapter book. Is this the right format for your story?
223 CB X This also reads a bit too simplistically for a chapter book in terms of style.
224 PB X Couldn’t connect with the premise very readily
225 PB X* The topic is interesting but the story itself seems a little complex for a PB, but we will see where this goes
226 PB X I think the challenge here would be to take the everyday-ness out of this and see if the parental figure can be eliminated altogether. Right now Mommy is upstaging the main character
227 PB X The topic is good, but the execution in these opening lines feels too commonplace. See how you can make this story feel much larger than life as a fiction PB
228 PB X* This feels somewhat repetitive with each sequence but we want to see where this goes
229 PB X This sample is not 125 words, also it is opening up with a simple, everydayish scenario. Next time, please submit the full 125 words.
230 X
231 X Isn’t one of those items a death sentence for a pooch? Kissy is worried for the MC. Biting his nails over here.
232 PB X This reads a bit too mature in style and content for a picture book audience. Also an everydayish, short story kind of opening. Consider longer work?
233 PB X* Premise feels a bit odd, but let’s see where this goes
234 MG X
235 CB X Some of the logic doesn’t quite flow from sentence to sentence. Smooth out
236 PB X* This is wordy in style for a PB, but more importantly, what is the significance of the premise? Unclear. We’ll see where this goes, but the subject matter feels a bit hard to connect with
237 PB X This reads like a story written for an older audience, given the complexity. CB age at least?
238 PB X* This one is a little off the wall, but we’ll see where this goes. Off the wall and perhaps educational could work. Hope this has substance.
239 YA X* I’d change out the grotesque detail. Some editors and agents won’t be able to stomach this. Pick unique, but this one seems to pushes the limits a bit much and makes the character seem unlikeable.
240 PB X Couldn’t connect with the premise. Consider the kindergarten audience. And the use of a certain word multiple times makes this difficult as a readaloud to a kindergarten class. Watch word choice.
241 PB X Fun, but the elements felt a bit too disparate (loose). Also what’s at stake and why does it matter to your audience?
242 PB X The species of the animals and the situation didn’t feel compelling enough, especially when the main character is coming off as unlikeable. Also, how can you spin this so that children can relate a bit more to the problems presented here.
243 PB X This would be hard to follow for a typical PB audience. Consider simplifying or using a format meant for older readers.
244 PB X This was too hard to follow as written in manuscript form.
245 MG X
246 PB X The topic is interesting but the execution is a bit hard to follow. Think about how this will sound when readaloud, too. Fill in the blanks a bit more. And try to use examples many kids wil connect with
247 PB X The major elements felt too loose, making the story feel a bit random. Consider species of animal and location
248 PB X*  This seems intriguing ,but we hope this doesn’t read like a punchline. Let’s see where this goes
249 PB X Could not connect with  the premise. Please try a different work.
250 PB X Sounds like it could be a great historical fiction topic, but the opening here felt a bit too off that particular mark. Would consider reworking the opening so it’s clearer why this book is important
251 MG X But kissy does prefer bacon.
252 PB X Unfortunately, the topic just feels like it lacks substance and there didn’t seem to be a real rhyme and reason to how the story flowed. It felt like a collection of descriptors about the same thing, which makes it more repetitive than a story that is building toward a great climax.
253 PB X* Relatable premise, but what is motivating the choice of species? Is this a loose detail or could it be even tighter? Regardless, we will see where this goes
254 PB X
255 PB X* It seems weird that the animal species does not already have what he wants, given his species, a known scavenger. Can you motivate your animal species a bit better?  We’ll see where this goes, though we worry if this will have enough substance to it. Also, please have the parental figure take more of a backseat if you can.
256 PB X* This idea seems to encourage the opposite of what parents want children to do, a bit troubling but we’re curious to see what happens next anyway
257 PB X Fun rhyme, but how would the MC’s actions actually cause what follows? Can you find a better way to instigate a true mixup?
258 PB X Didn’t connect with the premise. Please try a different work.
259 PB X See comments about every-dayish scenes with a typical parental figure in the first few lines. This reads too much like other manuscripts.
260 PB X This opening is weighted toward the parents versus the main character. Consider reversing
261 PB X Great topic but see 259 comments. Take the same idea and make it larger than life to up your chances. Also consider leaving out the age fo the main character in this case so this becomes more universal.
262 PB X* This Is a great topic, rarely addressed but sorely needed. Could be appealing to certain publshers. Let’s see where this goes
263 PB X This feels more like a short story – very realistic, parental figure within the first few lines. Gotta find a way to make PB stories compelling to grab the industry’s attention.
264 CB X* This reads more like an MG, in these opening lines
265 YA X Disturbing, but let’s see where this goes
266 PB X This is kind of a let down when you realize it’s just a kids’ imagination. See previous round notes about imagination in PBs and how that can harm your idea more than help if not done in a unique way.
267 PB X Interesting way to execute this. Let’s hope there’s a good twist.
268 PB X* This is cute, but we are hoping this has lots of educatonal value, emotional value and/or social value to carry a PB.
269 PB X This one reads very short-story like in style with all the description and the everyday quality to it, as though it might be something you might see in real life.  See other comments about this in terms of PB. While well-written, it doesn’t fit the format as much as the pooch prefers


270 MG X
271 MG X
272 PB X Even though is not an everyday setting, what is happening still reads like a typical scene in any household. For a setting like this, there’s so much more you can do with this! But make sure your premise is important enough first
273 PB X Couldn’t follow the story well. Be careful how you’re using art notes. The story still needs to be understandable when read aloud.
274 CB X This opening is a bit disjointed. See if you can tell it a bit more linearly – in order of the actual events might help this get off to a better start. It’s odd to be suddenly thrust into the scene after some introspection about the past and then the present.

25 thoughts on “RLGL Round 3 COMPLETE, Round 5 Deadline March 20, 8pm CST

  1. Thanks for all you’re doing, kissy! We hope you’ll give those paws a well deserved rest and have a little bit of a weekend too!

  2. Thanks for all the hard work, Kissy! We hope you’ll give your poor paws a break and get a little weekend in, too!

  3. Aw, Kissy! Cyber belly rubs coming your way! Gingerbread (the basset hound who lives at my house) wants you to know she’d even share her squeaky sandwich toy if it would help. 😉 Hang in there!

  4. Thanks Cynth and Kissy,

    Make sure to take a nice long doggy walk. You deserve to get out and run around after all the hard work you’ve been doing. Here’s a nice new chewie toy for you to play with.

    And I’m taking your good advice to write not wait. =)

  5. Poor Kissy,

    Sending you nice green bacon for St Patrick’s Day. Relax and dig up a pot o’ bones at the end of a rainbow.

  6. I’m so confused. I thought round 3 deadline was the 12th and round 4 wasn’t starting till after the weekend.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! Wishing the luck of the Irish to all entrants.

  7. Wow! One wonders why you put yourself through all this (you and Kissy), but I suspect it is a labor of love.

    Wondering… If someone submitted a page from their Great American Children’s Novel, or PB,YA, and such, and was Oked to send another page to Round Three, then how can he/she enter 4th round without results from Round Three?

    Or did I just not get the updates.

    While waiting around for a new round, I read many of your articles and I’m taken with the amount of valuable information in them.

    Whatever happens, thank you so much,
    William James Ortega

  8. I have been trying to send Kissy some goodies for day. For some reason my comments aren’t posting. 🙁 Hope he’s getting enough love. I will try again here – maybe replying will work better. 🙂

    Bacon, bacon, bacon, it’s…. BACON! But, please Kissy, don’t eat my MC. He really is a sweet little piggy.

  9. Kissy, you are working so hard so I’m sending you bacon with bacon sprinkles on top. I appreciate your hard work and am learning so much from every critique your paws type. Click, clack, woof.

  10. Thank you so much for your hard work. It is so helpful for us. I am a little confused though…do you mean the round 4 deadline is the 20th? Or is it really round 5? Did I miss what happened to round 4 entries? Thx again!

  11. So sad…my bad…was traveling and missed the first couple of rounds!
    I am definitely in the dog house…move over, Kissy and I’ll bring you some yummy bacon-wrapped bones. 🙂 And get at least one entry in.
    Thank so much, Cynthia…kudos to you for this Herculean effort…what an awesome game!

  12. Kissy! Thanks for working so hard and *high Five* for having so many participants! Here’s a frisbee so you can run and play catch and let the wind blow in your face. Enjoy!!!!

  13. Round 4 was closed to new entries. Only if you for a Yes for Round 3 do you submit your next page for Round 4. All new entries are automatically going to Round 5. Otherwise Kissy could never keep up!

  14. Sending lots of bacon bits to Kissy!
    Just wondering, if Round 5 deadline is at 8pm tonight(20th) – how do we know if we can submit or not since Round 4 results aren’t posted yet? I guess we just wait for the results and if we get a green light, then submit page 5 into Round 6?

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