Paula Wynne is the Founder of Page Turner Awards. Here Paula explains why she set up the awards and what she aims to achieve.
After winning The People’s Book Prize for my debut novel The Grotto’s Secret awarded to me by the ‘jackal’ himself, Fredrick Forsyth, I started looking for more awards to enter.
I found that most highly acclaimed awards were only open to traditionally published books and none were offering prizes that I, as an author and writer, would find highly valuable. I’m not interested in entering my book or manuscript to an award to receive a badge or acknowledgement posted onto a website ~ I wanted something that would benefit me and my writing in a profound and life-altering way.
Clearly, a publishing offer would do that!
The wishful thinking had me wondering if any awards offered writers the chance to get published and I couldn’t find any. That’s when the seed of Page Turner Awards germinated in my head. I started putting some thought into what I would like to win if I were to enter such an award. I contacted literary agents to find out their response to my idea and was thrilled with the positive and supportive response. They loved the idea and found it unique to be giving writers a ‘direct channel’ to get their work seen by literary agents and publishers.
To add value, I started sourcing prizes that I would love to win, such as an audiobook production for my novels and a book to film consultation. Then, on a whim, I decided to contact a film scout to get someone on board the judging panel who may discover a story that would warrant a film option. To add to having found LA Film Scout, Stephen Hodges, I also got in touch with a media lawyer who handles film rights contracts and was delighted that Louise Keenan was excited to join the judging panel.
I roped my husband, Ken Sheridan (I am Paula Sheridan but write under Paula Wynne), into helping set up the awards, and we both became fully committed to the idea of discovering new writing talent and giving both unpublished writers and published authors the chance to get their work celebrated and honoured.
Each time a new judge came on board, we grew more and more energized about the prospects of what The Page Turner Awards could do for a writer and published author. Likewise, each time we contacted a prize sponsor for products, that I as an author would love to win, such as a publicity campaign and consultation for getting my books to film, the prize fund grew.
When we totted up the prizes and found we had a £20K prize fund, we realized that my simple thought had turned into an award that will change a writers' life. That is an awe-inspiring idea! And now we are so excited to see entries that may get a writer represented by a literary agent and possibly a publishing deal. And that a published author could get a film option from entering the awards. The prospect of having these stories discovered is so motivating and satisfying! The cherry on the top has been the keen support from ProWritingAid, who has the same wishes and dreams for writers. Their sponsorship will ensure we can guarantee to publish at least one writer. This alone is a priceless treasure for a writer and a wonderful addition to The Page Turner Awards.
We now also have City Fiction sponsoring a fiction prize, where they will publish one winning writer!