Father of teens, Billy Wittenberg from Houston, has won a writing mentorship in the Page Turner Awards for his Literary Crime manuscript A Murder on the Border.
Sponsored by ProWritingAid, the Page Turner Awards gives published authors and unpublished writers, of fiction and non-fiction from all genres, the chance to have their writing discovered by high-profile judges from the literary world.
A Murder on the Border is about a pregnant orphan flees her violent boyfriend, who is obsessed with finding her and reclaiming his son.
The story had formed in Billy's head over many years, but he felt compelled to tell it after the 2016 election and seeing reports of the treatment of immigrant families at the border. He hopes that telling this story might help people see immigrant families in a different light and help move forward the cause of immigration reform.
The heroine of A Murder on the Border, Maria, is based loosely on the Billy's mother. Both were born to impoverished families in Mexico, both spent time living in a catholic orphanage, and both immigrated to Texas where they became single mothers and illegal immigrants.
Many of the anecdotes and plot points in the book were inspired by the stories she told Billy over the years. Thankfully, their stories diverge when it comes to the gangster ex-boyfriend, Victor, who comes looking for Maria. Billy's mother is now in her 80's and lives with him and his family.
Read more about Billy’s award submission:
Billy said: “Finding an agent and a publisher is an obstacle course for most first-time authors, like me. There are so many factors out of our control, such as the current state of the publishing industry due to the pandemic. The Page Turner Awards offer an incredible opportunity to lift a writer from the pull of obscurity and become a published novelist. If I don't have a heart attack, I'll celebrate with my family for a few days. Then I'll get back to work on my next book.”
Billy has won a writing mentorship from Tony Drury of City Fiction, who will work with Billy to get his manuscript to publishing standard.
Tony said: I selected this author and his compelling contemporary novel, Murder on the Border, because Billy Wittenberg mixes modern harsh social realism with his great creative writing ability. It will be a privilege to work with him.
Next year’s Page Turner Awards already has several literary agents and publishers as judges who are actively seeking writers to publish from the entries.
The judges also include influencers in the publishing industry, plus an audiobook production company giving published authors the chance to get their eBook and printed books into audiobooks.
Success stories from this year’s awards include three writers winning literary representation, six writers winning a writing mentorship, five writers winning a publishing contract and thirteen independent authors winning an audiobook production.
Find out more about The Page Turner Awards: https://pageturnerawards.com. Submissions for 2021 will open on the 1st of January 2021.