Round 3 Results COMPLETE: Goal 3 deadline/surprise tonight!

Congratulations #207 PB. You’ve just won a free-tique!  But never fear, PB/ER contestants, you can still compete to win another free-tique in the PB/ER category.  #207, go jump for joy. Ask Kissy about redeeming your prize AFTER RLGL is totally over. He’s got a lot in his bowl right now.

New Entrants: Round 4 is open for New Entrants and those who have received their Round 3 results.  Don’t know how to play?  Read the rules here.

Kissy and I are pleased to announce that we are just $55 away from Wednesday’s goal (that’s today!).  As promised, if we make this goal, we will continue with Round 4, and Kissy will announce the  very special treat he has for you (and it’s not made out of chicken, duck or beef)!

So put in your donations now. You won’t want to miss out.  Remember: Round 4 will not go on unless tonight’s fundraising goal is met. So please tell all of your writing buddies to get in if they haven’t already!

Woof, woof!  Thanks to your generous donations, we are also pleased to announce Kissy is #1 on the PAWS Alumni Team.  Thank you for making Kissy feel like a rockstar.  He’s slapping everyone a high-four.

Round 3 Results are COMPLETE. If you do not see an X in your row,  it is likely you …

1) titled your emailed incorrectly (e.g. missing page number, did not include the  assigned # after page 1).

2) sent it to the wrong email address.

3) sent your submission after last night’s deadline.

Pardon the pooch but please make sure you help us read and record your submission correctly.  Because of the high volume, we can no longer spend the time to find emails, look up numbers, or try to figure out which page you are on.  If you made one of these errors, no worries.  Correct the mistake and it will be considered in Round 4.

Never want to miss another free-tique game again? Please make sure you are signed up for the free-tique email list for future games like RLGL!
Want to personally fund Kissy’s kibble? Consider having a paid critique instead.


0 YA
4 MG X* Hoping we can move into forward story soon, like hints of what’s to come. The actual story starter.  Even though we’re in the present, a lot of this feels like same-old, same-old for your MC.
5 PB X Ultimately, I wanted to see a child-hero in this PB, the rhyme is great, the concept, too, but I’m missing the kiddo that the readers will want to root for.   This has great potential.
6 YA X* Still feels like MG to me, the content/premise/execution. I’ll keep reading and see where this goes. But consider aging down your main character so this book fits the market better.
9 YA X* I had hoped by now I would have a much stronger sense of story. Also this is reading very much like an upper MG book to me, not YA.  I’ll keep going to see if anything happens, but my paw is really starting to twitch over here.
10 PB X* Same notes as before. Talented rhyme, fun to read. Just hope I can find something more to this to carry a picture book.
12 YA X* Be careful. She’s a touch whiny. Granted, she has every right to whine, but scale back a shade.
13 YA X* I’m confused by how severe the problem is … at times it feels minor, at other times it feels life-threatening.  Very uneven…. Are we working in backstory at the wrong time?
14 PB X Ultimately, I couldn’t get into the premise, it just kept feeling more slight as I read deeper. I wanted to see more heart and more of a so-what? Against this sprinkly backdrop. 🙁
15 MG X Want to understand better why being able to do this is necessary and important.
20 PB X Unfortunately, in the end, I felt the story felt slight overall. While cute and funny, there’s not enough kid-power in this piece for me to hold up as a picture book. I also really wanted to see a seriously clever ending.
21 YA X The forced-in backstory appearing on pg 2 made Kissy give this one the paw.  Gotta be slicker about backstory, especially in opening pages to create the impression that the strong writing continues through to the end.
26 CB X* I really enjoy the voice, but she feels a bit older than her stated age, and I’m having problems discerning what exactly this particular story will be about. There’s a lot thrown in here in the first few pages and the long monologue is stalling the forward story. Hope to get a better sense of story in the next page.
29 PB
37 PB X Ultimately, I felt the writing style for this format weakens this as a PB concept. There’s also a lot going on with minor characters. While well-written, the writing voice fits a longer format better.
38 MG
40 MG
42 CB X
43 YA X* Still not totally convinced of the voice. Also she’s starting to sound a bit whiny as well.  Hope this turns around … I like the concept.
44 YA
48 MG X* Why is the MC so convinced that tonight is the night? And what really is the significance if success to the MC? What personal value does he gain from getting what he wants?
50 YA X* Concerned the MC sounds a bit too sarcastic/whiny/self-hater.  Temper this a little.
54 YA X* There’s parts of this that I really love, but there’s this part that’s missing for me, and that’s about your MC – and who she is. I know more about the other character than her at this stage. The balance seems a little off.  Show me more of the MC, too as we learn about the secondary character.
55 MG X Unfortunately, I felt the MC was coming off as a bit too whiny and hard to empathize with in these opening pages. (Count up the # of complaints she makes in these 625 words.)  Scale back some and try to show some positive aspects of her character as well.  Also watch the language in MG books if you hope your book will get into scholastic.
57 CB X* This still reads very much like a young MG/MG to me, given the pacing. Also I hope I will learn what this book might be  about soon before my attention fades…
60 MG X* I like this premise, and historical twist to contemporary mg fiction. But in your first three pages, there seems to be a bit more focus on mom than the MC.  Balance that out and give me more story and less mom-nagging, etc.
61 YA
62 MG X* In this many words, I need a better sense of the current story – what does the MC want (not what does the MC NOT want?) what’s this ride going to be about more specifically
64 YA X* This feels like it could be a very important book, but I’d like the MC to stand out more. Right now, her depiction is a bit hollow. How can you make her seem more distinctive?
67 MG X
68 YA X
72 YA X* Still have no idea what they’re doing exactly and why it matters, so this could be clearer in the opening
73 MG X* Writing is promising but the way the conversation acts as a vehicle to unload a ton of backstory feels a bit too obvious, progress the forward story… also felt the intro pages weren’t necessary. Start from there or start from the past or somewhere else. The prelude just didn’t have enough pow to act as a standalone opener for me.  Reconsider title, too.
200 PB
203 PB X Ultimately, felt like the style in which this was written felt a bit wordy – short-story-like, versus PB-like.  Needed less conversational dialogue,  scene-like moments. More importantly, I wondered what the so-what of the book was?  Is this a cute story or a cute AND useful/important story?  See Revision 9-1-1 articles on for PB.
204 PB
205 PB X Unfortunately, while I really enjoyed the humor of this royal book, the story just felt sooo long for a picture book format. I wondered if you could distill this down to it’s essence so that it’s more likely to fit the format better.  There’s good stuff here, just not sure this reads like a picture book, given the style.
207 PB X This isn’t ready for submission yet to me- but it’s got a lot of potential as a PB or Board Book.
213 MG
216 PB
217 CB
218 PB X Ultimately, I liked the concept but the execution did not feel like the text supported truly great and even more great pictures. Overall, the story felt a bit surface as well.  Deepen – give me a bigger so-what? And execute accordingly.
220 MG X* Jammed-in details at the wrong times made this feel like the writing wasn’t ready.  Couple that with a secondary character who sounds a bit older than her stated age.  These are technical things that are easily fixable. I think the opening still has promise, but I needed it to come in stronger.
222 MG
224 MG X* Like the voice, but yeah, didn’t need page 1 necessarily. Page 2 is just as interesting, if not more. BUT watch the CAPITALIZATION FOR A CERTAIN CHARACTER. IT READS LIKE CONSTANT SHOUTING AND IT’S A BIT IRRITATING TO HEAR IN MY HEAD!!! SEE?!!  Just state her problem and move on without messing with the caps.  Arf!
225 MG X This piece is probably not for everyone but it’s so quirky, I have to keep reading. :)  Wondering where this will go …
226 MG  X Be careful of the backstory inserted here. It goes on for a bit, and I’m not sure it really does much to support the forward progress of your story.
227 PB
228 YA
229 MG X The forward progression of the story has stalled to relay a lot of backstory on P.2 without the proper context in the forward story to warrant it.  Really work on integrating backstory more smoothly- when and how it should be done – to prevent a story-stall like this one.
232 PB
233 PB X* I always find concept books to be intriguing. But I’m concerned about the art
235 YA X* Be careful of making the MC sound whiny.  She can have issues, buy whiny can be hard to empathize with.
236 PB X* This is quirky and whimsical, but I am looking for the so-what? I’m curious to see where this goes because it’s so quirky, so I’ll keep reading.
237 MG X Reconsider your title.
239 MG X Hoping this premise doesn’t become slight overall. Really enjoy the voice and humor though.
240 YA
243 MG X* This digressed a bit too much for backstory on P.2, scale back. Don’t stall forward story to relay backstory like this. While the details are good – dos ALL OF IT need to be relayed now?, like right in the middle of something else?
300 PB X Common (and great) concept, but find a more unique way in the telling (writing style) to execute this concept.  It needs to really stand out both visually and textually.
301 PB X Found it difficult to connect with the MC and the style of the writing as a PB text. To me, personification is extremely difficult to tackle in PBs and often must be carried with other distinctive qualities that make the book special.
302 PB X* I really like this boy-friendly version of the fish-out-of-water premise.  I’m hoping the execution is as snappy and fun as possible
303 PB X* Curious to see where this goes… but I really want to see snappier execution here so this stands out more.
304 YA X* The writing feels a bit disjointed here, but it’s an interesting starter to a book.  Tighten the writing.
305 MG X Unfortunately, I really wanted to like this opener, but the writing needs to be tightened. Capitalization issues and a jumpiness with the backstory and current story felt really jarring.  Strengthen the writing.  Check out Revision 9-1-1 articles related to the novel on
306 PB X Another premise with high potential
307 MG X* Common kind of opening, so I might reconsider how this is executed or starting this a bit differently…
308 PB X Nicely written but afraid this does not stand out enough for a picture book – read Revision 9-1-1 for PBs on for some more revision ideas.
309 PB X Missing the child-like POV here and it feels a bit “reporter-ly.”  Great elements though with the setting and the animals. Reconsider execution
310 PB X* Interesting concept. Boy-friendly as well, but the writing could be tighter. Snappier. There’s a lot of extra here.
311 MG X* The references to the parents are a bit awkward though. Assume the reader knows what kind of animal you’re talking about based upon context.
312 PB X This reads very much like a short story, style-wise. Needs to stand out more for the picture book format
313 YA X* Page 1 reads a lot like an MG voice, not YA.  Consider aging down the character’s grade level to upper MG.
314 MG X* The opening is a bit too direct for my taste, like “here’s my problem, let me spell it all out for you,” it breaks the fourth wall a bit, reconsider how you open.
315 PB X* Unfortunately, I felt the attractive elements felt too loose to form a tight PB concept. Also the style felt more wordy than necessary for a PB format.
316 PB X* Interesting concept, study Mixed-Up Alphabet and see if you can use a few tricks there to put your spin on your own book.
317 PB X This reads a bit too loosely plotted as a PB concept, and the style feels rather wordy as well.
318 PB  X Wished I could have seen the concept of this book come in a lot stronger. Possibly from a more child-like perspective. Maybe stronger
hint of an education hook. Also make sure
the rhyme scans throughout.
319 PB X* Really like this concept, but writing could be tightenend. Snappier for a PB text
320 PB X Common (and great) premise, but execution did not feel distinctive enough for the PB format. This could really be about any kid. What makes her particular story distinctive? Also what makes the writing distinctive for the PB format? (See Revision 9-1-1 for PBs on
321 YA X Was really confused by this opening. Slow down a bit. Who is the “he” referring to and set the scene a bit better.
322 PB X Elements of this PB feel a bit too loose. Perhaps it’s the execution but I’d like to see the concept overall come through much more clearly in fewer words.
323 PB X Cute but overall the premise felt slight. Is it strong enough for the PB market?
324 PB X* This is really funny, but I’m afraid the age of the MC and the style and complexity of the plotting (believe it or not) is a bit of a mismatch. But there’s lots of potential with the writing so I’ll see where this goes cuz it’s funny…


3 thoughts on “Round 3 Results COMPLETE: Goal 3 deadline/surprise tonight!

  1. Sorry for the late submission. I couldn’t find the right link with results until after the deadline. Regardless, your brief comment actually gave me some ideas for revising, and I reworked the opening. Thanks!

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