Wrexham Mum Highly Commended in Prestigious Book Award

Halima Khatun, from Stockport, Greater Manchester has been Highly Commended at the Page Turner Awards Ceremony for her humorous story for women, The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage.

Mum of two, Halima Khatun, from Stockport, Greater Manchester has been Highly Commended at the Page Turner Awards Ceremony for her humorous story for women, The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage.

Sponsored by ProWritingAid, the Page Turner Awards gives published authors and unpublished writers, of fiction and non-fiction from all genres, the chance to have their writing discovered by high-profile judges from the literary world.

The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage is based in Manchester, while Halima's hometown of Wrexham provides a lot of inspiration for the early elements of the book.

Khatun said the novel is about an ambitious British-Bengali girl who hopes to find her dream man via the arranged marriage process. As she meets a motley crew of men through the matchmaking efforts of her mum, pretend auntie, and profiteering opportunists, she’s sure she’ll land a husband, but will he be the one?

Why The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage? This former journalist and writer is shedding light on the intriguing and misunderstood world of modern British-Bengali matchmaking, with her debut novel.

Khatun is challenging the negative perception of the arranged marriage process, by sharing an insider’s point of view and highlighting the similarities the age-old tradition shares with modern-day dating. The story takes inspiration from true events.

Early reviewers have dubbed the novel ‘the Brown Bridget Jones,’ and its narrative is in sharp contrast with current BAME-focused literature.

The novel is timely. At a time when politics has made the world quite polarized, it shows that people share more similarities than differences. Khatun details the parallels between arranged marriages and the likes of Tinder and Match.com. The story will be quite an eye opener for most readers.

This story addresses the real lack of diversity in literature. There’s often a negative stance around the arranged marriage process – news stories of people being forced to marry strangers without a say in the matter. Modern literature concurs, as women involved are often portrayed as submissive objects of pity. It’s seen as a last resort that the heroine desperately wants to avoid. This isn’t always the case in real life and traditional introductions often supplement more modern forms of finding ‘the one’ such as online dating. Yet the negativity surrounding the topic prevents people from talking about it. Khatun is changing that, by exploring the issue with humour and a dose of reality.

Khatun would love to have the locals supporting her. Readers can vote for her book and add any constructive feedback to her story, thus helping her improve her chances of getting noticed by the judges. Greater Manchester residents can vote and comment here: https://pageturnerawards.com/womens/secret-diary-arranged-marriage

Khatun said, “I really hope that The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage is shortlisted. Readers have said that it's an important story that simply needs to be heard. Not only does it provide humour at a precarious time, it brings society closer together by breaking down barriers.”

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.

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: https://pageturnerawards.com. Submissions for 2021 will open on the 1st of January 2021.