Rebecca Johnson

Why a dandelion? Because only upon its death does it become something on which wishes are made. Not all endings are bad. ---- -No self promo- ✨INSTAGRAM FOLLOWBACKS✨

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Contest Time!

These independent writing competitions are such a fantastic resource for emerging authors on the platform. I have participated in a few different contests, and Coalition Community’s is by far the best that I have seen! They are organized, professional, and and fair, and their judges have been enthusiastic in their support even outside of the contest. I have met some amazing people through the Coalition Awards and will continue to be a part of their group as often as I can!
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Great bones

Looking past the writing style issues that made this story a bit difficult to follow, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying read. The author does a wonderful job pushing the story forward with action and dialogue and the plot premise is unique and exciting. It could definitely use some editing and some re-organizing of paragraphs, but overall, a fun read.

To the author, should you ever decide to upload edited chapters, I would be happy to update my review as well!

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Only halfway through and loving every paragraph!

From the first sentence, this book had me thinking, “Wait, what did I just read?” I have laughed out loud through every chapter so far! The author’s wit and word choice is fantastic through this book, and I can’t wait to read the rest! Will definitely continue to follow this author.

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👍👍

Fascinating beginning to a rich and complex world. The author does a wonderful job of provoking thought and images without bogging down the reader. This story has fantastic promise. I’ll be eagerly awaiting future chapters.

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Fast-paced read👍

Great plot premise. The author makes a good build-up to an exciting climax while maintaining a good creep factor. The draft could benefit from a few good edits, but the bones of a great story are there. Well done!

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Thank you for hosting!

Open, communicative, and constructive. Thank you for putting this competition. Hopefully I’ll have a new story to add to the ranks when you hold your next awards!

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A fiasco from start to finish

I joined in the Gemlight Awards for the very reason they advertised: to promote my books and to secure an honest review.

So, enter me, with The Unnamed in action/adventure and The Silence is Lifted in fantasy. I signed up, followed all the rules, and waited for my acceptance.

My notification came a couple of days later, with The Silence is Lifted being assigned to a judge. But I heard nothing about The Unnamed... So I commented on the chapter asking about my second entry. No response. Over the next several days, I started tagging members of the Writing Community in my comments. Still no response.

Several days later, I received a post on my wall from The Writing Community that simply stated "Your judge is @ Nazra" with a response from Nazra's personal account stating "ok."

What I didn't realize at the time was that Nazra was the founder of the Gemlight awards and she was covering her own mistake in the 3rd person. I confirmed this after finding a similar post on another writer's page from Nazra stating, "I'm the head of The Writer's Community. I hope you are fine. My reason for leaving a message on your wall is that I missed your book in the list of the participants and I didn't assigned [sic] you any judge. I'm really sorry for doing so. I do hope you accept my apology. I will judge your book myself that is if [sic] you want. Agani [sic], I am sorry for the mess up." --Much more of an explanation than I'd received.

But, I followed Nazra and awaited my results.

A while later, I was supplied said results in the form of the lowest score I had ever received out of any competition. No review, no scoresheet, no indication at all that my story was actually read other than a one-line comment at my intro that said, "nice intro."

Riveting.

And far from sour grapes, The Unnamed has not only won several genre competitions, but a few cross-genre ones also, as well as earning publication in a literary magazine. This collective foundation was enough to make me start looking into things.

And yep! Aside from the round one results chapter being incredibly confusing, My Unnamed, which has NO "shipping" in it at all and not a hint of romance--had been judged as EROTICA. I really couldn't believe it, and I started commenting again. Again, several days went by with no response on several different threads, but by then, I knew to tag Nazra if I wanted something addressed. She eventually did, and admitted there had been a mistake (two, in fact, as The Silence is Lifted had been miss-assigned as well, as action/adventure instead of fantasy) and that the placement would be corrected. But she never addressed my concerns that the Unnamed had been judged to romance/erotica standards when it CLEARLY wasn't, resulting in a low score. She then went on to state that my score for The Unnamed was too low to have moved on to round 2.

...But I had already been assigned a round 2 judge...

At this point, I just let it go. It was Silence I was really interested in for this competition, and it had earned 50 out of 50 in round one, tying with another writer who I have had the privilege of competing with AND tying with in the past. This actually really served to validate the ability and attentiveness of the judge responsible for reviewing us in round one. Thank you, Cindy Lou Harvell, for your time and attention.

But then came round 2. We waited... And waited... I got a review on the Unnamed, solidifying that I actually had been judged in round 2. Then, the day before judging was due, a post comes out from Nazra that she is sick and "The reason, I'm telling is that I won't be able to announce the results of The Gemlight Book Awards anytime soon."

Oooook... You have a whole team of writers in this community. Was there really no way for you to stay on schedule?

Regardless, a few days pass. Then a few more. No notifications. No reviews from judges, no updates on the awards except for a bit more judge shuffling, based on the posts on Writer's Community wall. Finally, ten days later, the awards were announced in the form of a YouTube video with the winner's book covers animated to move across the screen.

The Silence is Lifted was nowhere in the running. Neither was The Willow Rise Six, the other perfect score from round one.

No review came for The Silence is Lifted. No scoresheets were released. No chapter was added to the competition book listing the winning scores, and I suddenly wondered if our judge skipped out on reading anything (my round 2 judge also judged for Willow Rise and for a book written by my round 1 judge, who is also an amazing author.) No scores, no reviews.

Soooooo, I started commenting again. I asked my judge directly for my review, assuming that she must have just found a lot of stuff I needed to fix for me to have not made it into the running. She finally answered and happily left my review with all 5 stars and a disclaimer of, 'I don't think I need to give any suggestions, it's already so PERFECT! Keep it up!"

...Well., that's great but... How TF did I not end up in the running then??

So I commented again and asked her for my score to which she replied: "Hey! Sorry for the late review actually there was little misunderstanding and sure I'll tell your score... lemme check"

Shortly followed by: "hey! Can you please ask your score from the writer's community? I'm not really sure what it is."

Ok, now by this time I was REALLY confused. Aren't the judges responsible for assigning the scores? But, I agreed, and I wrote on Writer's Community wall asking for my scores.

No response.

After three days, I began tagging people, including Nazra, but still, no one responded.

In the interim, I reached out to Cindy and Alan, the other authors who had been judged by Shreeya, our round 2 judge. Neither of them had received their scores or reviews. Alan made the suggestion that the "reader engagement" as listed in the round two criteria may have had something to do with it. So I got to thinking, how would one objectively measure reader engagement? Because they don't have access to Inkitt's analytics so there's NO way they would think they could look at review numbers and comments, right? I mean, They wouldn't ACTUALLY attempt to compare a book like Creature Seer's, whose author has been running around, busting her ass earning return reads for the past several months, to Silence or Willow Rise that have only been circulating for a matter of weeks and whose authors simply don't have time to invest in endless review swaps. I mean, they would have no way of knowing how long a story has been posted, no knowledge of reads-per-chapter, both of these things INSTUMENTAL to judging reader engagement.

No, there's ABSOLUTELY no way they would try to extrapolate statistics from what they're able to glean from reviews and comments. That would not only be a ridiculous move, as writers flock to these competitions based on the fact that they AREN'T popularity contests like the Inkitt novel contests, but it would be basically be putting the judging into the hands of the previous reviewers and completely invalidating the hard work of the round 2 judges.

And besides, reader engagement has absolutely NOTHING to do with the quality of the writing. Most of my start to finish readers are reader-only and never stop to comment or review. There are no reviews posted under their profile and no responses to any posts on their wall. Some people are simply here to read.

But I digress... And here we are, nearly five days into my original query as to my scores. I've also asked how the judging was accomplished, but this too has received no answer.

So until such time as my questions are answered, and all contestants receive their reviews and scores from assigned judges, this review stands.

***Author beware*** This is the most poorly run competition I have ever taken part in.

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So beautiful!

So short and so heartbreakingly sweet! I enjoyed reading this immensely. With minimal words, the author accomplishes an incredible level of emotion and attachment to her characters.

Minimal errors, a few missing apostrophes, one or two slips from present tense, but altogether one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve run across on Inkitt!

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Brilliant Opportunity!

These awards groups really are the best way to break into the Inkitt Matrix! Thank you for the effort and time commitment to manage this competition!

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Will update as I read ✅

Dropping this here early on because I really want this story to benefit from another review but who knows how long it will take me to finished with the limited time I get to read! 😭

First of all—fantastic story with a kick-butt female protagonist, and I love the fact that the author is writing outside of her native language and is REALLY FREAKING GOOD AT IT! Needs some grammar tweaking, but hey, what story doesn’t?

Up to chapter 5 and will continue to happily chip away at the pages, but judging by the author’s talent early on, I doubt she’ll be losing any stars on the way.

👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Great start

While the story is in definite need of some editing love, the emotions of the characters are well written and relatable. Brush up on your grammar, branch out in your showing vs telling, and this story has all the promise to polish up into a fantastic book.

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Wonderful story

Very enjoyable read. Aside from a compelling plot and complex characters, I love how you can watch the author spreading her wings as she writes. There are still a lot of grammar issues to tackle, but these will only improve with more writing.

I feel the story could have benefited from a bit more of a slow burn between the characters, but aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the read! Well done!

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Inkitt's Reference Section

I just realized no one had reviewed this book yet! Such a shame! I have steered authors to this book more than once for its great info. Everyone would be well-served to read the hints and rules here, even as just reminders. 100% useful and written in a way that is easy to process and understand, Helpful Hints is going to spread like wildfire here on Inkitt. Or at least, it should!

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George Orwell meets Mel Brooks

I was cracking up at each character name, shaking my head at dry all-too-perfect jabs at political stereotypes, and likely laughing at inappropriate moments. So, of course, I label this story a win!

Refreshingly well-written, you don’t have to worry about being distracted by jarring grammar usage or getting thrown out of the narrative by typos. If I were to pick and look for something to improve, it would be to break up some length on the longer paragraphs, but really, this is a small thing.

This is going to be a fascinating story to follow!

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Fantastic Storybook Tale

This was a very enjoyable read. You really grow to love the characters and the endearing charms of each of them. The author has a knack for using dialogue to tell her story, which really keeps you locked in.

I would have loved to give this an overall 5 stars, but the grammar held me back. Many of the sentences are lacking commas necessary for readability, and there is a consistent confusion between apostrophes in plural vs possessives. This, though, is a small thing in comparison with the enjoyability of the story, and is something I’m sure the author will pick up on through editing.

Overall, very nice!!

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Talk about technique!!

Wow, wow, WOW!!! My hat is off to the author! The writing style and imagery in this story are absolutely fantastic! If anyone needs a lesson in the famous “show, don’t tell rule,” then look no further because this author just took us to school! I was so emotionally invested in this story by the end (temporary end, hopefully) that I nearly cheered!!

If I were to nitpick and recommend anything to improve on, (because I try not to leave reviews without some sort of constructive feedback) it would be to whittle away on anything not pushing plot forward. It didn’t happen often, but there were a couple parts where the effort you were putting into your fantastic writing ended up slowing down your momentum a bit. Nothing that would have kept me from wanting to read on, though. And like I said, gorgeous, GORGEOUS writing.

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Loved this!

Quick read without fluff! Espero was such a cool-cat centaur; very well developed considering the length of the story. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Dark shadows within buoyant dialogue, I will be following this author. 💯

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Just going to drop this here.

Great little how-to with ins-and-outs! Following this one closely!

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Easy, quick, exciting read!

Excellent dialogue within the story! I love reading dialogue that actually sounds how the character would really speak. And this story had such a well-written opening paragraph as to immediately keep me reading. Well done!

If this was a first draft, I would have rating it 5 stars across the board; the story definitely warrants it. But grammatically, there is a consistent need for editing. And while the story is engaging, I would love to see it fleshed out a bit. Write with your senses; what does the environment smell like? What sounds do you hear? What does breakfast taste like? What does the MC’s anxiety feel like? Prickles? Burning? Cold? So much to play with!!

Excellent writing potential here! I look forward to reading more from this author!

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Excited for another skill-based competition !

These judged competitions are so great for early authors who are struggling to break into the algorithm. We don’t stand a chance on Inkitt official competitions. We simply get lost in the bottom of the bucket. Glad that opportunities like this exist! Thanks for creating! ❤️❤️❤️

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Sweet and real ❤️

Short, sweet, and well-written. The author draws you in with two completely believable characters with real problems and real interactions. The focus on tiny details like “ginger kisses” and sir/madam pet names did so much in the way of building attachment to her characters in the small span of pages she allowed for it. Absolutely heartwarming and a refreshing alternative to all the teeny-bopper high school crush-smut flooding the platform. Thank you for bringing some maturity to the genre!

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Sneak peek

Interesting concept, and one I would definitely pursue reading further. Author has some room to grow in “show don’t tell”, but outside of that, exciting premise!

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Very well done!

Great horror short from a talented author! Very well written. The author does a fabulous job of describing not only the scene, but also the emotions and fears of the characters. Very enjoyable read! 👏👏👏

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AMAZING!!!

Straight up wonderful! Well-written, fast paced from start to finish, and one hell of a wild ride! Binged it in one afternoon with no regrets! 😂 👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Chapter one’s got my interest!

Reviewing at chapter one, but the author’s got this! This story promises darkness!

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Sweet start

Cute! Has promise. Has a few kinks to work out grammar/writing-wise but characters show good interaction!

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Good creep factor

As a nurse who did a stint through mental health, I can understand the level of apprehension in this story. Well written! Enjoyable read!

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Completely sucked in!

Wow, wow, wow! Immediate connection with the characters. Couldn’t put it down once I started reading! Can’t wait to read more. ❤️🙌

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First chapter intriguing

Starting at chapter 1 upload. Lots of potential here! I can’t wait to read more about the rituals and moon goddess hinted at!

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Quick and sweet!

Refreshingly well-written, beautiful storytelling, and great characters. A quick and easy read, thanks to the authors good use of dialogue. Would love to see this expanded one day to a longer story!

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Fun creepy read

Great job creating spooky images! Also good job using short, one line sentence and sounds to speed up sections. Very fun to read. Needs some editing, but great storytelling!

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Nice read!

Sci-fi is hard in a story as short as this, but I still greatly enjoyed the read. Monsters, medicine, and science fiction all rolled into one intriguing story. Very few grammatical errors and an easy writing style to read.

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