RLGL Round 4 Results COMPLETE


Round 4 Results are now complete.

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 4 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 4 Entrants who were waiting for results in order to proceed to Round 5 (#1-#275): If you passed, your entry will be part of Round 5 if you submit your page by March 23, 11:59PM CST. If we don’t get it by then, your entry will be part of Round 6.

NEW ENTRANTS: Any *new* entries received until the next deadline is set will be part of Round 6. We are trying to get everyone back in sync again.  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   Notes

0 MG X* Watch the forcing of too much internal monologue at the wrong time. Kissy almost gave that part the paw. Suspending time like that to relay a bunch of info breaks from the reality of the scene. Also don’t forget to set your characters better so this can be pictured more readily in the mind
1 MG X* This entire page reads a bit forced and the pacing has completely stalled. Kissy will give it one more page….
4 YA X Ultimately, four pages in and Kissy was scratching his head about what this could possibly be about. Consider reworking these opening pages by using a scene that might speak better to the overall setup for your story.
5 MG
9 MG X* Let’s get to the next subject. Kissy’s paw is shaking.
12 PB X Liked the idea of this, the funness of it. But ultimately this felt a little bit loose in terms of the elements used. Tighten up the motivation for the kind of characters you used or tweak the characters so they make more sense. See if you can up the value of this piece by incorporating some sort of educational concept to give this more oomph. RIght now, it reads as cute but not important/strong enogh.
22 PB
28 PB
30 YA
38 YA X* What happened to the friend, btw? Keep all the balls moving  when your’re storytelling, like juggling. Sometimes it’s too easy to just focus on the one ball that you’re holding.  But there’s always a couple that are in the air at the same time.
40 YA
42 YA X Utlimately, the main character didn’t seam approachable enough. What does she want What does she desire? Kissy felt like he was kept at least a hindleg’s length away from getting to know her better.
43 ER
45 MG
50 PB
56 MG X By this many words, the pooch was still confused. To the point that he wasn’t even sure if the characters were human or animals. Consider slowing this down a bit and setup what is at stake here? What is the overarching story? How can you hint at or detail that better from the beginning?
57 MG X* No need to rehash the same info, progress the story forward. Easy fix
62 YA X* Kissy is having trouble remember this one, when compared to others. That’s a sign that something is not distinctive enough about the character’s voice. Start studying characterization in really strong character-driven YA books, written in 1st person. See if you can see what tools the author uses to make the character’s voices stand out.
63 YA
65 MG X* Try to set the scene a bit more visually when the special thing is found. Not force all of it through dialogue.
66 MG
69 PB
72 MG X* The MC is a touch unlikeable. A few tweaks should fix this. Make sure the MC doesn’t come off as jerkish.
77 MG
85 MG
91 MG X* Concerned with pacing now. Get to it. Nothing has really happened yet, and we are 4 pages in. Hmmmm. Kissy’s got a toenail pointed toward the line. When there are four pointed in that direction, this one’s burnt bacon. (which is still tasty btw)
92 YA
93 YA
96 YA X* This reads more like an MG as an opener than a YA, also it doesn’t feel fully fleshed out by the end of chapter one.  Add more depth to the storytelling. Round this out.
97 MG
104 PB
106 PB
107 MG
109 PB
119 MG X Ultimately the forcing of details at the wrong moments made Kissy give this the paw. Also watch the language in MG. Certain words are controversial to both parents and schools for middle schoolers, regardless of how authentic it may be.
121 YA X
125 YA Submit 250 words please.
128 MG X This feels shy of 250 words, but ultimately what did it was not staying in your character’s head. After finding such a thing, he acts like he just found an old gum wrapper, never to be thought of again. Very forced. Stay with your character – he seems to be doing X, then Y, then Z but the logic and motivation from one thing to the next feels light and hurried.
129 YA X
134 MG X Watch for scene breaks that aren’t needed. This makes for choppy jarring reading. You already have two in just 4 pages alone.  No need
137 MG X*  A  bit forced in relaying of backstory through dialogue. Be careful of this.
147 YA
150 MG
151 MG
154 MG
157 MG X* Pacing is a bit off, Kissy’s paw is shaking. He’ll give it one more page.
161 MG X* We are not sure why the book started where it did. Hopefully this becomes clearer real soon. Kissy’s paw is twitching.
163 CB X* This doesn’t seem to really be going anywhere in the forward story. It’s all been backstory, mostly. Reverse the balance.  Kissy’s paw is twitching.
166 YA X Ultimately, we could not get our bearings on the situation. There’s too much vagueness in the detailing of the scene, the thoughts, who’s who, etc. The pooch got frustrated.  Consider coming at this from a different angle or seeing if you can tighten the execution.
172 PB
173 MG X Ultimately this page got bogged down with overwriting. The character is very much in his head to the point that it sounds unnatural to have all these cleverly devised thoughts and analogies all in a short span while another just  character moves from point A and point B. Took Kissy right out of the story to the point he couldn’t even contemplate what this book may be about. Watch the pacing. Pick your moments.
183 MG X Are you sure you want to end the chapter where you did? Move the plot forward a bit more unless this is a short chapter book?
187 MG X* It’s not clear what the potential conflict of this book may be. Instead it feels like Kissy just read a nice monologue but ummm.. What’s the story? Better get to it quick. His paw is twitching.
188 PB X This is very fun, but as it stands it just reads like a cute poem. We feel like you are halfway there – find heart to this story or at the very least an educational angle with this story. (Piggies in a Pumpkin Patch is a good example of cute poem With an educational angle.  Or go another route – Character driven with heart when you do a rhyming PB like this one, e.g. any of the Bear titles by Karma Wilson)
190 PB X This has some strong potential but it could definitely use a little tightening. Build the arc – go small, and get bigger with each example. See if you can make this even more clever and perhaps educational, too, about the character’s species. Good work. But refine to perfection!
191 YA
196 PB X I would review the notes from the previous round because this did feel too predictable and not quite distintive enough for this pooch.  See if you can make this a bit more character-driven and the realization should be not based on fear alone, round out the epiphany.
203 PB X The rhyme just wasn’t strong enough. Really work out the scheme, and syllabic stresses so that when read, it will scan more readily
204 MG X Ultimately, this premise was not right for this pooch. Try again with a different work.
205 MG
207 MG X
208 PB X* Same comment as in Rd 3
209 MG
210 PB
211 ER X* Watch the sentence structure. Make sure this will still make sense when read aloud, without the pictures as an ER
212 PB X* Again, the pooch is doubtful for some reason, but entertained. Let’s see where this goes.
213 MG X Disqualified.
214 MG
219 YA
221 PB
225 PB X In the end this was a bit too hard to track as a PB. There are so many elements here and not all of them are following the pattern established. Simplify and make the phenomenon that is happening consistent throughout.
228 PB X* First, no skipping stanzas unless you truly mean to cut them out. Second, this has potential. But it needs more oomph – an educational angle would be great for this piece to go along with the poem. Was touched on, but not the heart of it. Needs to be central to the storytelling.
231 X Ultimately, Kissy wondered where the child is in this story. Also the prose was a bit flat. See if you can work on 1) upping the kid appeal of this story by using a child as your main character and 2) making your writing more vivid – study description, setting, use of visual detail to help a reader visualize what’s laid out in the scene.
233 PB X Ultimately, this premise didn’t connect with the pooch. Try again with a different work.
234 MG X* Be careful of making him sound too snarky or negative. Temper
235 CB X* The writing could be a little bit more distinctive. It’s reading a bit flat with the voice and the character’s aren’t easy to picture in the reader’s mind
236 PB X In the end, this one was a bit too whimsical or quirky for the pooch’s taste. He was left wondering why? Why does this matter? What’s at stake here, Though whimsical can be great – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a great example of that – see if you can find out what’s missing when you compare your story with other whimsical picture books.
238 PB
239 YA X
245 MG X
248 PB X This became too repetitive and didn’t really build up to anything – consider story arc to make this feel more like a story versus a series of refrains. We were left wondering, why does this matter?
251 MG X
253 PB X* Same comment as in Round 3
254 PB X This could use a bit more marketing oomph but has great potential. See if you can really work the topic a bit more and make this more educational while still relaying a good story with the plot and characters you got. Also really perfect the rhyme. The pooch can think of a number of ways to amp this one up a notch or two. So refine this more and you’ve got something pretty cool here.
255 PB
256 PB X This was fun in dialogue, great sense of humor but ultimately, the pooch is trying to sniff out a story here. There needs to be a bit more surprise to this one, ingenuity. Consider the concept of story arc while educating at the same time.
262 PB X This is about something else entirely and it made Kissy wonder – how could this be more universal? Two opposites, but only one dimension really. Hmmm. Doesn’t seem like enough meat to carry a PB.
264 CB
265 YA
267 PB X Ultimately this was  a cute poem. But this could be tightened/fine tuned  to make for a stronger picture book, which can also be spun off into a board book. See MY PUP as a reference by MARGARET O HAIR. Look at sentence length, educationa concepts, etc.
268 PB X Ultimately this story felt repetitive and left Kissy wondering – where’s the bacon? What is this about exactly? By this many words, the value of this book should be clearer to the editor/agent.
270 MG X* This one feels a bit slow and difficult to connect with. Hmm. One more page…
271 MG X


275 PB X* This is pretty wordy and descriptive for a PB text – leave the details up to the illustrator, by now I should have a much stronger sense of story. As an author, that’s your role. The art, is the illustrator’s. This needs to be addressed through revision, but we will see where this goes.
276 PB X* This is a little different, let’s see where this goes. It reads a little flat. Spark up the writing a bit more.
277 YA X
278 PB X This is great from an educational standpoint, but the storyline itself is very repetitive. Build a story arc, rhythm or pattern that works it’s way to a climax, which will engage the reader much more.
279 PB X this concept felt too loose, the elements aren’t consistent or logical to make this feel tightly written. It’s a bit too much like random attributes were put together to make this character who he is, versus hand-picked attributes that would make sense for who he is, with a twist to keep him unique.
280 PB X This one just didn’t engage the pooch in a way that stood out. It has educational value but feels a bit too quiet to grab his attention in these opening lines
281 PB X The title and the refrain can be misread to mean something else. Have to be careful here. The subject is interesting, but we wondered if this could be spun more to make it more commercially appealing. Think larger than life.
282 PB X
283 YA X
284 MG X* A bit confusing as an opener. Smooth it out so it’s much clearer whose perspective this is being told from, in line one, versus later.
285 PB X The opening sounds a bit reporter-like in terms of style. Like it’s from a nonfiction piece. See if you can find a more engaging way to open your story.
286 PB X This reads much older than a PB text because of the prose’s style and the perceived age of the MC.

2 thoughts on “RLGL Round 4 Results COMPLETE

  1. Cynthea,

    I just realized I was supposed to send the full 250 words, but I just sent 125. Should I resend?


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