RLGL Round 5 Results COMPLETE, Round 6 Deadline Extended Mar. 27, 11:59 pm CST





3) DID NOT GET A NUMBER for Round 5 and


please forward your email to the Cynthea address so we can get your entry processed.

Round 5 Results are COMPLETE.  The next deadline for existing entries and new entries is now March 27, 11:59PM 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.

Also make sure you submit the correct # of words. If you are on the first page, 125 words. If you are on any page after that, 250 words.

First page entries do not have entry #s. You will get one when it is assigned to you. DO NOT use old entry numbers on new entries.

****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 5 deadlines (there were two deadlines: one for new entries (March 20, 8PM CST) and one for those who were waiting for results from Round 4 (March 23, 11:59PM 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 6. 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.

NEW ENTRANTS: Any *new* entries received until the next deadline is set will be part of Round 6. Please make sure you only have ONE entry at a time in the entire contest. Multiple entries will result in disqualification of all of your entries.

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

Also, new and existing clients: the paid critique deadline is coming up on April 5, please make sure that if you plan to receive a paid critique from Cynthea, please sign up for the paid critique list if you have not already for the rates, etc. and make the April 5 deadline for written critiques. We know RLGL has been great fun, but don’t miss the deadline if you wanted to get a full written critique. Cynthea’s critiques are very similar to Kissy’s, except there’s less bacon talk and barking involved. Phone consults may be booked at anytime, as usual.


#               Format     Back to Start  Send Nxt Pg: 250 wrds      Notes

0 MG X Watch out for long interior monologue in the middle of convo.  Toward the end there if the list keeps going, it’s gonna be too long.
1 MG
5 MG X
9 MG X** By this many pages, should have a much better sense of story.
22 PB
28 PB
30 YA X* Not sure how the opening connects with the next part. Hopefully that will become clear soon.
38 YA X
40 YA X Hard to picture the narrator/characters referenced. Draw in visual details to fully develop the picture in the reader’s mind. Not just for setting but the character’s themselves.
43 ER X It’s unfortunate because the concept could be a lot of fun. The resolution felt very pat and convenient. It’s the right resolution, but work out the plotting so this comes together more cleverly, and the overall reading is a bit more suspenseful, making us wonder how on earth could this sort of resolution come to pass?
45 MG X
50 PB
57 MG X This continues to suffer from all the important info being relayed almost strictly through dialogue. Don’t be afraid to use internal monologue to help us get to know the character’s a bit better too. It reads a bit too stiffly.  It’s a fun idea but work on the mastery of dialogue, versus interior monologue, versus narrative action and description.
62 YA X
63 YA
65 MG X* Not understanding why the MC didn’t know this from the beginning.
66 MG
69 PB
72 MG X Something about the mysterious circumstances that get sidestepped so easily, and the character’s voice, which can seem a bit snarky/rude is making Kissy give this the paw. The pooch just isn’t drawn in as much as he’d like to be after this many pages.
77 MG
85 MG
91 MG X Ultimately, there wasn’t enough here in Chapter One to keep Kissy rooted in front of his laptop.  Was there really a chapter’s worth of story in Chapter One? There’s no need to break here.  Felt very forced and abrupt. Rework the opening to move the story forward more clearly by the end of Chapter One.  How is this incident different from all of the other times this has happened before? Make that clear.
92 YA
93 YA
96 YA
97 MG
104 PB
106 PB
107 MG
109 PB
121 YA X This one is also feeling a bit hard to remember. Though distinctive in time, the opening is reading a bit flat overall.
125 YA X If anyone is reading this, sometimes Kissy feels like the easiest thing you can do to clear a round is to write a clearly written scene. Comprehension/clarity is so important. Don’t make agents/editors backtrack and have to read your page twice just to understand how to picture this in their minds. Read your writing for clarity/ability to visualize. This sample of a page did just that.
129 YA X* We really wanted to follow this character, however, stay in your character’s head. If what just happened happened, would she really be thinking about some of the things mentioned in this page? A family member just ran off. Keep her mind where it should be until there is mental space for  more relaxed kind of thoughts.  Stay with your character, given the context, otherwise Kissy will give this one the paw.
134 MG X
137 MG X Ultimately, Kissy just couldn’t get into the premise as much as he tried. Something about how this opens just didn’t feel super gripping. What’s at stake? Why does it matter for the MC? What does he really want? How can today’s kids relate? Find parallels and see if you can work that into the opening, approaching it a different way.
147 YA
150 MG
151 MG
154 MG
157 MG X Unforunately the pacing just seemed off here.  Tighten this so the story moves a little faster. Still don’t know what the setup of this book may be.
161 MG X This started off with what the characters don’t want versus what they do want, and seemed to hit the same issue over and over again, making this seem more dismal than intriguing with a dismal backdrop. Work to balance positive desires from a big picture POV with the negative circumstances to make this opening a more balanced read.
163 CB X Ultimately, Kissy feels this may not be the best way to open your story. It’s a very slow start. Consider Carl Hiassen’s HOOT as an example of opening your story in an intriguing way, given the genre of your book. Also your MC reads older than his stated age. I would age the age to 12 to make this squarely MG, instead of CB, given the maturity of the MC’s voice.
172 PB
183 MG X* Having a hard time figuring out if this is supposed to be fantasy or not.  The premise seems a bit odd and I wish this were better justified in the story and explained.
187 MG
190 PB
191 YA
205 MG
207 MG X* So many names to keep track of in one page. Eek. Kind of lost track of what was going on.  Indicate why he must take this trip or we don’t even know why we should care.  Kissy’s paw is shaking
208 PB
209 MG X
210 PB
211 ER X* The storyline feels like it’s meandering a bit. Like it’s just moving from one thing to the next without any real motivation. Starting to wonder what the point of the book is.
212 PB X* We don’t even know what to make of this except it is oddly funny and so bizarre. See if you can try not to make it a book that crosses two potential holidays together. Maybe change the christmas character into something less associated with any particular holiday. Perhaps something really really  the opposite of his behavior that children really adore to consume.
214 MG
219 YA
221 PB X We hope this has heart and not just a punchline
234 MG X* Be careful of being too jokey jokey when serious stuff is happening. Stay in his head. Don’t force humor in the wrong spots.
235 CB X* This is reading a bit more like young middle grade with all the politicking going on.  Also the first part did not transition well into the second. Is this the best way to open your book?
238 PB
245 MG X
251 MG X*  The coincidence and how readily the character’s believe it makes them sound a bit too naïve. Instead motivate the belief more or temper their confidence that this is the case. Feels too forced
253 PB X This feels like a punchline versus a full blown story. Each stanza felt a bit repetitive of the one preceding it, versus complicating the overarching plot instead. Also watch for resolutions that just come to the character magically without any setup, etc.
254 PB X Yeah, this ends with a pat resolution. But the concept could really work – see previous comments
255 PB
264 CB X* We would classify the voice as MG; she is very self-aware. Typically 8/9 year olds sound much younger in chapter books and the telling is simpler because younger kids are reading these books. Think Judy Moody. Clementine, etc. Consider upping the age so this falls more squarely into MG.  Also watch for appearance of typical mom saying typical things in opening pages. It doesn’t help your manuscript sound unique. Consider starting elsewhere in your story.
265 YA X* Watch for references to TV shows. Give your book a longer shelf-life. Easy fix
267 PB
270 MG X Ultimately, Kissy feels that how this opened may not have been the strongest. Perhaps Chapter 2 is really where the story starts – begin on the day that is truly different for the MC, versus a whole chapter on backstory.
271 MG X
275 PB
276 PB
277 YA
282 PB
283 YA X* This is a bit confusing and hard to picture the narrator as the actions are taking place. Is he invisible? How come he does not appear to be in the actual scene itself?  Hopefully this gets cleared up fast.
284 MG X



287 PB X This one falls in the category of many other PB entries that have gotten the paw from Kissy. Everydayish opening, short-story style.  Parental figures showing up in early lines, saying typical parental figure stuff. To make this standout as a commercial major trade picture book, the story should feel larger than life and give maximum opp for eye-catching illustration. Typical scenes just don’t do that as well as competing manuscripts.  Visit the PB wall at B&N (where all the books face out) and count how many books feature an everyday scene with human characters, speaking regular dialogue in a typical everday setting. Not many, if any, and there’s a good reason for that.
288 PB X See 287, except here the main character is not a child, but an adult which make this less universally connectable. Consider making a child the star versus an adult.
289 YA X* Set the scene a bit more visually. Hard to picture the characters or setting in any memorable way.
290 PB X See 287
291 PB X See 287. Also, unless this is a speech balloon kind of picture book with very strong dialogue, detailed minor conversations don’t usually make for great PB text because illustrating minor dialogue is not the point. It’s an eye catching visual scene that matters. PB style is usually less dialogue-filled. It is worth studying in contemporary PB stories. The balance of dialgue vs narration.
292 PB X Have to be careful of using content that might be replicated by a child when using human characters.  Also, once again, if this weren’t possibly dangerous, it still features a pretty typical scenario found in everyday life. Contemporary PB fiction usually takes an everyday concept and makes it much larger than life.
293 PB X See 287. Also see 291.
294 PB X This is an interesting concept, but the execution feels too commonplace.  Maybe there is a version of this in the manner of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. See if you can approach it from that angle?  Remember, larger than life. Not like real life.
295 YA X
296 MG X
297 MG X* Detail the visuals a bit better so it’s more distinctive. Hard to picture.
298 PB X* This is a good topic, may be of interest to some publishers. Let’s see where this goes.
299 PB X It was hard to follow which animal was which and what this picture book may be about.  Kissy scratched his head and then just gave it the paw.
300 PB X Punctuation and capitalization in opening lines made Kissy give this one the paw.
301 PB X* This one’s odd. Kissy will see where this goes. Hopefully it’s point will be come clear.
302 PB X* A popular TV show makes this one seem less original, but we will see where this goes…
303 PB X* Can’t tell what is happening with the sounds. Not clear, where is this premise headed exactly but we will give it another page because of charm
304 PB X* Title is too close to a food product brand. The premise isnt super attractive to this pooch, but we will see where it goes…
305 PB X* Interesting idea here, have to be careful not to sound presumptive about race and language. Easy fix though.


8 thoughts on “RLGL Round 5 Results COMPLETE, Round 6 Deadline Extended Mar. 27, 11:59 pm CST

  1. So sorry but I am totally confused. How do you assign numbers? Is it by email? I’ve sent in twice but haven’t received anything Am i doing something wrong?

    1. You must follow the rules upon submission. If you fail to, your entry will get skipped. If you resent in a submission, that will be part of the round it was received in.

  2. I was outed in round 3/4 and sent a new entry in in time for round 5 too, and haven’t received a number either. I’m sure I sent it correctly.

  3. Hi Cynth,

    Have numbers for round 6 been assigned yet? I sent in just wondering if something is wrong or they are just not out yet.

  4. Round 6 is in progress. You should get an email with a number after your entry is read. Shortly after Round 6 comments should be posted.

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