The "keep fighting for your justice, keep a kind heart" review
Disclaimer: I am one of the winners of this competition but I will give my fair opinion based on my experience. How you decide to interpret it is entirely up to you. I put here my honest thoughts and I take responsibility for them and for how I will be judged for it.
Read the story now
I am trying to find a way to make the ratings meant for a book apply to a contest - bear with me, please.
Rating for Story overall - overall experience in the competition 4 stars
I entered 2 of my books, specifying from the start their genre. Throughout the process, I had no issues with them being assigned in their genre or being assigned a judge. For the first round of the competition, everything was done transparently and I experienced no misunderstandings.
I would have awarded here 5 stars :)) but the discussions stirred around the entire process chipped away on my experience.
Plot of the story - judging criteria used 3 stars
The judging criteria for the first round were perfectly clear to me and learning my score I found it to be a fair one(I did not score the highest in my genre or overall)
The judging criteria for the second round did include some changes to the first round and I am still not aware if the scores from the first round were taken into consideration or not. I know there was mention of user interaction, something I believe is hard to be quantifiable but I thought it to be something to make this competition unique among the others. Unfortunately, it left room for interpretation.
Writing style - judging process 4 stars
I take my hat off to all the judges who volunteered to take part and helped shape up these awards. I had no issues learning who my judges were and no issues communicating with them. My first round judge was kind enough to have discussions and open opinions about my book and my writing style and promoted me to improve on my story right away. My second round judge sent me a heartfelt message to let me know she truly enjoyed my book. Having this feedback from her I did not press to find out more(yes - I took my laurels and was happy to adorn them :))) so I can not comment on how responsive she was to give more feedback.
I did hear however other people were left confused on how this entire process went and their results. When it comes to judging I guess it depends on the judge and the ones who coordinate them.
Grammar - communication skills 2 stars
For round one I thought the communication process went well. There were regular updates, no confusion and no misunderstandings when it came to my entries. There was an issue with finding judges, as one always finds with these type of awards, so not starting with a full set of judges for some genres might have been the cause for the problems some other participants experienced.
In the second round of the competition, communication got a little bumpy and ended up being confusing. The results were postponed and when they were announced there was no mention of the scores. I can see how this left the majority of the participants confused and disappointed when their inquiries got no clear answers. It is their right, and duty for the community, to ask questions and comment on their experience.
To shed light on what I believe was the cause of this, I will add the organiser of this awards was confronted with personal issues and this could be the reason why she was not at the helm, coordinating the entire process. Yes, there are other members involved but I do not know how their communication process went. I believe it is room for improvement in this aspect.
I read people saying they do not trust the entire process and they believe it was intentionally not made clear to give a boost to the judges/organizers' favourites. For my part and I can speak for some other participants I will say I only got to interact with the host and the judges only after I entered the awards. At no time did I learn or noticed anyone was being favoured or was submitting to bribing (I would award this 5 stars for willingness to act fair)
I read from a reviewer that he found this experience disappointing and it discouraged them to enter other awards. I am sorry to hear anyone felt this way. I wish they could have had the chance to reach out to other participants, fellow authors and expand on their community and their experience - this is the best part of participating in any awards.
My personal advice to anyone - do not enter these type of awards to win, enter to better yourself, enter to get to know other authors and their works.
My final thought goes to the hosts of these awards. I know they are young and with other responsibilities. I commend you for being brave and willing to start this initiative to bring together the community. I commend you for your efforts and whether you were experienced enough or not to organise these type of awards please do not feel discouraged. My belief is that even God in all of his perfection still has things to learn. And having the opportunity to learn is one of the best gifts we can receive.
Stay safe everyone!