Red Light Green Light: A Free-tique Game Has Begun

So sorry to everyone for the delay. I was having major technical issues with the site. I hope they are mostly resolved but this will be the true test.

Let’s see if we can make it through RLGL now that everything has been upgraded on the backend (we hope!).

So without further ado ….

Hello WFCAT fans!

Please read this post in full before sending anything.

It’s your favorite time of the year again: RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT is here! This is the game where only a handful of people win, but everyone wins!

All contestants will receive some feedback on their entries, regardless of win!

Entrants will also be eligible to receive a client referral from Kissy to Jen Rofe of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, one of the best children’s lit agencies in the world.

Show us what you got!  Play the game, and you never know, your work may be paw-selected by Kissy for Jen to have a second peek.  You may know that the agents at ABLA work as a team, so even if your work may not be right for Jen, she could refer you to another agent.

Now keep in mind that Jen will not give your work special treatment just because you happen to know her client’s pooch. Your work has to be right for her. You must be able to deliver the goods that she’s looking for. Kissy can only take a guess as to what that is, but he’ll do his best to highlight some of the most promising submissions to her.  Think of Kissy as Jen’s first reader.  If he gives it a tail wag, Jen will make sure she looks at it in case Kissy has found that teeny bone in the haystack!

All work submitted to RLGL will be considered for referral.  You must be selected though, so don’t go contacting Ms. Rofe saying the dog sent you.  The referral has to come from the pup himself (and we promise, we’ll ask you for permission first before we tell Jen.) We hope this stokes many of you on to keep trying with RLGL. Don’t give up. Remember, this game is a lot like the real world out there. Expect lots of rejection and keep a thick skin. All you’re trying to do is write, revise, and find that perfect match!

Good luck!  Yipppp-eeee!


Last time, you all helped Kissy raise a great chunk of change for PAWS and saved hundreds of lives of dogs and kitties. This year, I am not going to guilt a single one of you into doing anything for anyone. HOWEVER, Kissy always appreciates 1) compliments about his luscious wiry fur, 2) virtual chew toys or 3) bacon!, so feel free to drop any ego-massaging and treat donations in the comments.

Now that Kissy is satisfied with making sure you all know this, I will really move on to the rules.


How does it work?

  • Kissy stands at one end of the playground. You and your fellow contestants at the other.  You begin when Kissy says, Arroo! (That means “Green Light!”)
  • All contestants enter the first-half-page (125 words max) of any children’s FICTION work (PB, ER, CB, MG, YA) before the round deadline.
  • When Kissy says, Arf! (“Red Light!”),  he stops to sniff everyone’s submission. If he finds something not to his liking, he will point a paw toward the starting line, and you start again with the first half-page of a different work. (We must also have not seen some version of the work ourselves before. Only works that are NOT ACTIVELY with an agent or editor are submittable. For example, if an agent has given you feedback on the work and is awaiting your revision, do not submit that work.  If the work is sitting in a slush pile somewhere  and you have not received a response yet, you MAY submit that work. )
  • The results of each round are posted anonymously (you will receive an entry # for your submission and an X will appear by your number when results are posted. Your X will send you back to start or pass you to the next round. )
  • If Kissy lets you pass to the next round, you wait for him to say, “Arrooo!” Green Light! again, then you submit your next FULL page in the manuscript (250 words max.)
  • Kissy will continue to judge all works in each round until a contestant gets all pages of his picture book or easy reader past Kissy. That contestant wins in the short-work category. First contestant to reach eight pages of her CB, MG, or YA novel wins in the longer-work category.
  • Winners receive a FREE-TIQUE 30-min PHONE CONSULT from moi (a $75 value), and there may be more GREAT surprises in store that you will love as the game continues.
  • Kissy will also be giving short feedback on entries when eliminated, regardless of the entrant’s standing in the race. That means EVERYONE WHO ENTERS will receive some input about his/her work. Your work will not be shared with anyone besides Cynthea and Kissy.
  • Contestants may enter at ANY TIME. Miss a round? No biggie. Join in on the next but always start with your first 1/2 page (125 words max).

Are you ready to rumble?!  To participate in this free-tique round, please read the rest of this, I mean it, IN FULL, before doing anything.


1) Optional: Tell Kissy how handsome he is, make virtual treat donations. Can’t hurt, right?

2) By submitting your work, you agree to the solemn Critiquee Oath.

The Solemn Critiquee Oath

  • I shall not shed a single tear upon reading the results of my free-tique
  • I shall remember I am asking for only one opinion. That is all.
  • I shall not take any comments personally as Kissy can be a pretty tough little canine to please.
  • I shall allow Kissy the opportunity to gnaw on the ms if he so wishes.

2) Please make sure you title your emails correctly in the SUBJECT LINE of your emails, not the body of the email. DO NOT ATTACH WORK. Paste it in. Do not attempt to format your work in the email. Kissy is great at reading emails in hieroglyphics.

3) Email your first 125 words to SUB at WFCAT dot COM.  That is considered P. 1.  *Title the email (IN THE SUBJECT LINE) with the page number, book type (i.e., PB, ER, CB, MG, YA), and manuscript title to help Kissy keep track, like so (P. 1, PB, If You Give a Pooch a Mailman).

4) After the deadline for each round has passed, please wait patiently as Kissy reads your entry and gives you an entry number for the work.  Your entry number will be used to conceal your identity when results are revealed. We do not know when Kissy will deliver results for each round, but it will probably occur within the first 24-48 hours after a round deadline. Results will be posted here at

5)  Check for updates.  You will not receive email notifications about the rounds because we don’t want to flood people’s inboxes for those who are not playing. So check often (refresh the page) for the latest updates, results and deadlines. Look for your X by your #.  Check to see which column it is in. Go back to start as instructed OR advance to the next round. If you do not see your number or feel something is wrong, double-check that you followed the rules precisely before contacting Kissy. If you still feel like the pooch must have been preoccupied by his continual quest for bacon, then drop him a note and let us know. Wait patiently for a response.

Next, Kissy will say “Green” again with a new round deadline. If your entry was sent back to the starting line, you start over with a NEW work.  First 125 words (half-page). Correctly titled in the subject line. Don’t title your next submission with the previous entry’s number. If, however, your entry passed the round, you email the next FULL page (250 words) of your competing entry. This time you title the email with your ENTRY #, like so. (e.g. #75, P.2, PB, If You Give a Pooch a Mailman)

6) Play continues until winners have been identified in BOTH categories, and the final round has been announced. If you enter after someone has already won in your category, you may still enter out of curiosity to see how far you can get and also for Kissy’s feedback on that entry.

7) All free-tiques won will be returned at Kissy’s earliest convenience. His schedule is quite full with so much begging to do at the table, but he will get back to you as soon as he can. Referrals will be decided after RLGL is over.

8) THIS RACE COULD LAST FOR DAYS, MAYBE WEEKS, depending on how things play out. So get ready for one of the most exciting games of your writing life!

8) You should plan to send something off prior to each deadline so you can keep up with your competition.  However, you may not send extra pages in advance of round deadlines. There are no makeups and there are no advanced submittals, regardless of cause. If you miss a round though; don’t worry, elimination can happen to any of your competitors at any point in the game.

9) YOU MAY ENTER AT ANY TIME and ENTER A DIFFERENT WORK while the game is on and doors are open. Only one entry per round though.

10) Help us spread the word on Fbook, Twitter, and wherever else you live and blog. The more participants there are, the more likely the game will go on.

11) The most important rule of all: breaking any one of the rules will make you subject to complete elimination from RLGL. Don’t screw this up!

Now are you ready?

K-Dog says:

Remember: Check the latest RLGL postings on the homepage (refresh the website) for results and updates.  Follow the submission rules, make the deadlines, and you’re in. Woof!

Don’t want to play?
Just want a paid critique instead? Visit for full details.


15 thoughts on “Red Light Green Light: A Free-tique Game Has Begun

  1. A Big Woof to Cynthea and Kissy –

    Thank you for offering this great opportunity. Sounds like it going to be doggone fun, although being sent back to the first round might be a little ruff!

    I’ll be sending my ms to your shortly.

    Sending lots of bacon your way!


  2. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity! Sending kisses to Kissy. And a belly rub or scratch on the butt, whichever he prefers.

  3. Here’s some bacon, Kissy, because you can never have too much. Well, maybe. But you’re cute and young and don’t need to worry about it. Enjoy! And thanks.

  4. Super stoked about this, Kissy! I think I may be drooling, but you shouldn’t judge me. Great start to the weekend. Tiki, Vegas and Deacon (your fur-friends) say, “Rufflooo”!

  5. Mom’s head is spinning from reading the rules so hard. I hope she can get her act together to make the deadline (and make my dinner). I’d like to offer bacon, but I’m pretty sure I ate it all and then licked the floor and then licked Mom’s fingers and then tried to reach the counter for more. I think this will be fun.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake the Blogging Dog

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