London Mum Shortlisted in Prestigious Book Award

Lara Byrne from London has been shortlisted in the Page Turner Awards Writing Award for her Historical Fiction manuscript, Lotharingia.

Lara Byrne from London has been shortlisted in the Page Turner Awards Writing Award for her Historical Fiction manuscript, Lotharingia.

Lara entered the Page Turner Awards, where published authors and unpublished writers of fiction and non-fiction across all genres can enter their writing to get discovered by high-profile judges from the literary world.

Lotharingia is about Countess Matilde will one day rule her lands like a man, but she remains her husband's property. When the enigmatic king Heinrich rescues her from an abusive marriage, their friend blossoms into forbidden love. Unbeknown to them, their relationship could shatter the foundations of the Roman church.

Tired of walking into bookstores in search of historical fiction set in medieval Europe and coming out empty-handed, Lara Byrne decided to write her own. Her debut novel Lotharingia is part of a planned series provisionally entitled ‘Holy Roman Chronicles.’

Always set against a thoroughly researched historical backdrop, Lara's story blends romance and mystery, bringing to life historical characters through part-fictional plots. Lotharingia gives a voice and a story to Countess Matilde of Tuscany, heiress, relic hunter, warrior, feminist ante litteram. She was the most important ruler of her time, second only to the Holy Roman emperor, and yet is often relegated to the footnotes in history.

Lara said, “The Page Turner Awards simply stand out. They are more than just another literary prize; they are a journey of self-discovery for any aspiring writer, a very professional test of your concept and output. I have learnt so much about so many different facets of writing and publishing just by entering the award. I would thoroughly recommend it and I will most certainly enter it again with my next novel. I don't want to sound like an Oscar winner, but the organizers deserve a huge thank you - such an ambitious and well-run competition!”

Lara was going through bereavement when she first had the idea for Lotharingia. After the lightbulb moment, she did not put pen to paper for about six months, as she worked through her trauma. Then, on a grey January afternoon, as her train crossed the plains of Eastern France, she took the plunge, opened a very tiny notebook and begun to write.

Read more about Lara and her shortlisted story:

The Page Turner Awards, sponsored by ProWritingAid, gives writers and authors the chance to enter unpublished or published fiction and non-fiction books, where a group of literary agents and publishers will read the work.

Judges are carefully selected literary agents and publishers who are looking for writers to represent and publish, plus influencers in the publishing industry.

A literary agent has requested a copy of Lara’s manuscript and Lara and Page Turner Awards are hopeful of the outcome.

Founder of Page Turner Awards and award-winning novelist, Paula Wynne said: “There are writers from all walks of life, from manual laborers to academics. All with stories to tell, most of them heart-warming and moving. We’re proud that our Awards celebrates excellent writing and helps writers and authors to get their stories discovered.”

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: Submissions for 2021 will open on the 1st of January 2021.