Salisbury NHS Facilitator Wins International Writing Contest

Salisbury NHS Facilitator Wins International Writing Contest

J A Higgins, who lives and works in Salisbury, Wiltshire as an NHS Clinical Audit Facilitator, has won an audiobook production in the Page Turner Awards. This was announced at a glittering online ceremony, where Paul Michael Glaser from Starsky and Hutch fame was a special guest to announce the winners.

The Page Turner Awards, sponsored by ProWritingAid and Campfire, offers authors, writers, and screenwriters the chance to enter the first 10 pages of their writing project, where a judging panel of literary experts and film producers will read the work.

Finding Ruby is about a woman forced to confront her traumatic past to save a teenage girl, who soon discovers that nightmares don't always end when you wake up.

The inspiration for Finding Ruby came from the derelict Victorian asylum located a ten-minute walk from the author’s Salisbury home. The outside steps leading down to the basement were of particular interest. Gradually the idea for a mystery thriller, involving a crime witnessed by a young girl at Halloween, began to form.

The author spoke to colleagues and friends at Salisbury District Hospital to ensure any hospital references were accurate, and the passages concerning the shock and adjustment required when a family member is diagnosed with dementia were based on her own experiences.

Deciding to publish Finding Ruby was a huge step and once that decision was made, the author didn’t want to wait while she approached publishing houses or agents because she worried that the repeated rejection could make her lose her nerve. Therefore, she chose to independently publish.

When Finding Ruby was shortlisted in Page Turner Awards, she realized that her work could hold its own with other books. The fact that Page Turner allows traditionally and independently published authors from across the globe to compete together, is hugely important to the author and is keeping the ‘imposter syndrome’ firmly away while she writes the sequel.

As a little girl, J A Higgins loved ghost stories and when visiting stately homes and castles would ask if there had been any sightings. If not satisfied by the answer, she would let her imagination fill in the gaps. As an adult she has taken part in several organized paranormal investigation in historic Salisbury, and although she always keeps an open mind, is aware that sometimes things that are seen, felt, or heard cannot be explained by science.

J A Higgins said: “Winning means the world to me. I’m so grateful I heard about Page Turner Awards. Thank you to all the judges and to everyone at Page Turner for this incredible honour. With so many other outstanding books in the competition, I am amazed, grateful, and humbled, that I’ve been chosen to win an audiobook production.”

See more about Higgins and her winning submission: 

This year, aspiring writers walked off the red carpet with life-changing prizes. One new unpublished writer won literary agency representation, while a screenwriter won literary management. Another new writer won a publishing deal, seven independent authors won an audiobook production from Spectrum Audiobooks, plus one other won a publishing package (including an edit, book cover and book trailer), and another author won a book adaptation.

The Page Turner Awards winners can be found here: 

Submissions for the 2022 Awards will open in January 2022. Find out how you too can enter your writing into The Page Turner Awards: