Become a Writer Today

How to Enter Writing Awards with Paula Sheridan

March 03, 2021 Bryan Collins
Become a Writer Today
How to Enter Writing Awards with Paula Sheridan
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Become a Writer Today
How to Enter Writing Awards with Paula Sheridan
Mar 03, 2021
Bryan Collins

Have you ever considered entering a writing award?

I used to enter writing competitions to deal with procrastination and writer's block. And although I didn't win anything, it forced me to finish off pieces of writing, and I also benefitted from the feedback I got from the judges.

My guest on this episode knows all about writing awards. Paula Sheridan is an award-winning historical fiction novelist and founder of the Page Turner Awards. 

The awards are now in their second year and include categories for fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting and other categories that we discuss in the interview. 

I wanted to know why she launched the awards in the first place, and can an award change a writers life?

The awards are open for submission now at The Page Turner Awards.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why Paula founded the Page Turner Awards
  • What makes a good submission for an award
  • Do awards sell books?
  • Paula's advice for entering The Page Turner Award

Resources:

Become a Patreon, support the show and get exclusive content:
Patreon - Become A Writer Today

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever considered entering a writing award?

I used to enter writing competitions to deal with procrastination and writer's block. And although I didn't win anything, it forced me to finish off pieces of writing, and I also benefitted from the feedback I got from the judges.

My guest on this episode knows all about writing awards. Paula Sheridan is an award-winning historical fiction novelist and founder of the Page Turner Awards. 

The awards are now in their second year and include categories for fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting and other categories that we discuss in the interview. 

I wanted to know why she launched the awards in the first place, and can an award change a writers life?

The awards are open for submission now at The Page Turner Awards.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why Paula founded the Page Turner Awards
  • What makes a good submission for an award
  • Do awards sell books?
  • Paula's advice for entering The Page Turner Award

Resources:

Become a Patreon, support the show and get exclusive content:
Patreon - Become A Writer Today

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Paula :
For authors, it's a way of introducing your writing to new writers who haven't actually read any of your work, so if they hear about you've won an award, they'll read your work, the one that's won an award, and if they like it and really like your writing and your storytelling, then they'll buy your other books. So again, it does sell in a sort of offhanded way.

Introduction:
Welcome to the Become a Writer Today podcast with Bryan Collins. Here you'll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan:
Have you ever considered entering a writing award? Hi there, my name is Bryan Collins, and welcome to the Become a Writer Today podcast. And today I have an episode where I'm going to talk about awards. And actually, when I started writing, awards was something that I used to help me get over writer's block and procrastination. And what I used to do was look for flash fiction competitions and also for short story competitions. And I used to enter these competitions, not because I necessarily wanted to win, although that would have been nice, but it was a way of forcing me to finish my story by a particular deadline. Because up until I entered these competitions, I was spending a lot of time just writing a story and then rewriting the story and then rewriting it over and over and over and over. And it got to the point where I'd spent six months on a single story, and when I read through it, I realized that I wasn't really getting any feedback and I wasn't really moving onto the next thing or the next piece of writing.

Bryan:
So what I did is I made a list of all the different writing competitions that were in Ireland at the time, so this is about 10 years ago, probably a bit easier to do it now, because you can do a quick Google search and look online for writing competitions. But I put them all into a, I think it was a spreadsheet with the dates and the deadlines. And I looked at the categories for each one of the awards, and I tried to figure out which one of my stories would fit into these particular categories. And then I put the deadlines into my calendar, and I know this sounds all very organized, but basically, it forced me to write one or two stories each month for about a year.

Bryan:
Although I did win any of the awards, it actually got me into the habit, firstly, of finishing my work. Secondly, getting feedback because some of the editors got back to me, or some of the judges. And thirdly, it also got me to try different genres because I was trying to write these Raymond Carveresque or Charles Bukowski-type short stories, but I started to notice that there was nonfiction categories as well. So when I saw that there was nonfiction, I started experimenting with personal essays, with memoir, and that type of nonfiction writing, and I actually found that that type of work engages me more, so that's what I write these days. And actually, at the moment, I'm finalizing a book about parenting. It's a story-driven parenting book, and I've spent the past two months editing my third or maybe my fourth draft of this book. And I found an editor on the surface called Reedsy and she's going to give it one additional edit before I publish this.

Bryan:
And I've really enjoyed writing this, but I'm actually quite drained from rewriting something three or four times. I'm looking forward to handing it over to someone else who can find and fix errors in the book that I might've missed. I suppose one thing I'm grateful for is, during the pandemic because we're still in lockdown here in Ireland at the time of recording this podcast, it's given me something to do early in the mornings and giving me something to do later in the evenings as well. Because to be honest, I guess like you, I probably get a bit bored and restless, and so spending a lot of time just watching Netflix or just watching stories by other people when I could be writing or doing something creative. So I'm hoping to publish the book sometime in April. I guess it'll depend on how much feedback I get from the editor in question.

Bryan:
But anyway, over to this week's podcast interview. I caught up with Paula Sheridan. She's an award-winning historical fiction novelist, who's actually met Frederick Forsyth, the author of The Jackal. And she's also recently set up the Page Turner Awards. And these are online awards that you can enter right now, and we're recording this in February until later on this summer for fiction and non-fiction and also for screenwriting and some other categories that Paula talks about within this week's interview. Paula set off the awards last year, so this is the second year that they're running. And in this podcast interview, I asked her, why did she set up the awards in the first place, and how awards like the Page Turner Awards can change the lives of writers?

Bryan:
But before we get into this week's episode, I do have an ask. If you enjoy the show, please could you leave or write a short review on the iTunes Store, or on Overcast, or wherever you're listening to the show because more reviews and more ratings or even more stars will help more people find Become a Writer Today podcast. Now with that, let's go over to Paula Sheridan.

Paula :
Thank you very much for having me. Yes, the Page Turner Awards, I'm the co-founder. My husband and I founded it about a year ago. The reason we founded it is because, me as a writer, I wanted to find awards that I could enter my own books. And in particular, I was looking for something that's very unusual and very unique that offered writers quite unusual prizes, as in supportive prizes and also the opportunity for writers to find a literary agent or to get a publishing deal. So when I started looking at some prizes and the kind of thing that I, as a writer myself, would love to win in awards, I started writing off to various places that would offer these prizes and I got some fantastic response. And then I started writing off to judges and again, I got a fantastic response and we put a fantastic judging panel together, which was for last year.

Paula :
And we opened our inaugural awards last year. We had a writing award and a book award. And we had some fantastic successes. We had three writers who won a literary agent to represent them. We had five unpublished writers who'd never been published, they won a publishing contract. We had six writers win a writing mentorship and they're now being mentored over this year. And we had 13 independent authors who won an audiobook production. And, Bryan, that's actually a really, really good thing to mention because a lot of independent authors can't actually afford to put their books ... They can afford to publish them but to get an audiobook production is really, really expensive so it's a fantastic prize. And so we're really, really pleased that Spectrum Audiobooks has come back this year and they are going to offer a prize again this year.

Paula :
I won't say how many, because we don't know. Last year, they only intended to offer one, but they were so bowled over by all the good writing that they saw, all these good stories, so what they did is they just couldn't help themselves, but offer 13, which was fantastic. So we're really, really pleased about that. So yeah, this year, we've got five different awards. We have the writing award, which is for unpublished completed manuscripts and we've got a whole lot of free agents and publishers who are looking at that. And those literary agents and publishers are actively looking for writers to publish, so hopefully, we get some great results like we did last year.

Paula :
And then we have a writing mentorship award, which is for anyone who is writing but hasn't finished their work. It might be non-fiction or fiction, and they haven't quite finished it. They might have an idea to finish it. It might be a memoir. And so we have four different fantastic judges who are going to mentor whoever they choose. They're going to mentor those writers throughout the next year, well, once those winners have been announced. And then we have the young writer award, which is for 18 to 25-year-olds, and that is again, that's for unpublished work but for a young writer who's finished a novel or finished a piece of non-fiction work and they want to have it published. Again, we've got judges who are looking to publish young writers. And we have the book award, which is for any author who's published any books, so it could be an independent author or it could be a mainstream author.

Paula :
And then we have the screenplay award. And with the screenplay award, we have a whole lot of judges who are film producers and they are looking for work to produce. So again, a very exciting opportunity for authors to put the work in front of the judges. And hopefully, one of them will get the full option and hopefully in a few year's time, maybe get their work, or their book, or their work, their screenplay put into a film. So yeah, we're very excited this year. We've got some fantastic judges, fantastic awards, and it's kind of kicked off and it's now open. And yeah, we're very excited.

Bryan:
Do you find, Paula, that the entrants are newer writers or more experienced writers, people who want a book deal or writers who are going the self-publishing route?

Paula :
Well, we find that the writing awards, the three writing awards, the young writer, the writing mentorship, and the writing award, those three are really probably for new writers, writers who are not experienced, who haven't been down the road for a long time, and they could possibly be starting out on their writing journey. And those are ideal for the writing award. The book award and the screenplay award is probably for writers who've been writing a long time, they've got a lot of work published, and they're wanting to either put their work into a film or put the work into audiobooks, and also just to really get the kudos of winning a book award. So yeah, we kind of have two different kinds of a very distinct audience of writers and we've got from very inexperienced to very experienced. So it's interesting to see the mix coming together.

Bryan:
What would you say makes a good submission for an award?

Paula :
I think the most important probably is from a judge's point of view, it would be that when the judges look at the work, they really want to make sure that the character jumps off the page. The character really has to hook them from the first sentence. It has to really blow them away. And it has to be so compelling that they just carry on reading until they get to the end. They can only enter 10 pages, so they can't enter their whole manuscript, but the judges can ask to see the full piece of work.

Bryan:
So, that's about 3,000 words, 2,000, 3,000?

Paula :
3,000 words, 10 pages, or up to 3,000 words. So the judges really want to see something, it can be beautiful writing, it can be a character that really takes them away from the first sentence, the first line. It's also got to be a good hook that that judge just starts reading and is already embedded in the story, and they want to know what's going to happen, whether it's happening in the story with a plot or happening in the story to the character, they want to be able to know what's carrying on. If it's kind of boring and it's not really good, they won't read on and then they won't rank that writer very highly and, of course, a writer won't then get to the finalists.

Bryan:
What about non-fiction, are there any specific elements to make for good non-fiction?

Paula :
Same for non-fiction. What they're wanting to see for non-fiction, they're wanting to very quickly get a handle on what this piece of work is about, what this writer is saying. In the non-fiction work, are they showing very quickly if it's a self-help, are they're showing very quickly what kind of self-help topic it's going to be. If it's any other piece of expertise that they are an expert in that particular subject, do they know the subject? Just from the writing, will the judges see that this person is knowledgeable and knows what they're talking about? And the judges will also think, will the person who ends up reading it, if the judges take the story to publication, will the readers, the end readers, will they actually want to read on and find out about this particular piece of work if it's non-fiction?

Paula :
And of course, if it's a memoir, which is sort of classed as non-fiction but slightly different if it's a memoir, is the story a lovely drama story? If it's a true story, is it going to really pull that reader and that judge all the way through the 10 pages and make them read on until they're finished and they just can't put it down, and then they'll ask us to see that full piece of work?

Bryan:
And the awards are open right now? We're recording this in the middle of February.

Paula :
Yeah. The awards we opened a couple of weeks ago, and we're very excited because we've seen some fantastic entries, lots of good entries coming in. We are now open and we are open until the end of May. At the end of May, the awards close, the 31st of May. And then the judging will take place over June and July. Judges will then give us their scores, we'll add them up, and in August we will announce the finalists. Then more judging will take place to get the shortlist. In September, we announced the shortlist, and then early October, we have an online award ceremony, and that will be to announce the winners. Last year, we did that and it was fantastic because we had people from all over the world. It's not just a UK and Ireland thing. It's an international award.

Paula :
We had somebody from Australia who had just literally woken up at five in the morning and were sitting in her pyjamas. We had somebody in Wales who was popping champagne corks because she won something. It was great. We had people from all over the world. Because we have the Zoom, we've got gallery view, we could even see people with their families around them, all talking in and sharing the exciting moment. So it was lovely because we had so many life-changing prizes because we were able to offer publishing deals, which is a huge thing for somebody to win. It really is an award and a life-changing prize because really their lives are changed.

Paula :
And as we speak, I spoke to one of the agents this morning and she is currently selling the winner of the writing award fiction prize. She's busy selling his work to publishers. So it's very exciting because this guy's life will change. The woman who won the non-fiction, she wrote a memoir, her agent is also busy selling her work. So one of these days we're going to get the most fantastic news that these writers have now got publishing contracts. So it's very rewarding seeing these wonderful, life-changing moments happen and we're involved.

Bryan:
So last year was the first year of the awards? What was it that made you set them up in the first place?

Paula :
Well, in 2017, my book, my debut novel, which is The Grotto's Secret, it won The People's Book Prize. And I was just so stunned. I was invited to this wonderful ceremony in London. I had Frederick Forsyth hand me my award. So having handed an award by the Jackal himself was like wow. I was just so blown away. It didn't quite register when they called my name out and called my book's name, The Grotto's Secret. I just sat there a bit dumbfounded and then suddenly realized, oh, that's me, and jumped up, and went along and got my prize. And afterwards, I started thinking what if I could find awards that would offer these kinds of prizes, that would offer literally agent representation, or to offer writers the chance to get published? But I couldn't find anything out there. So I just thought, well, let me see what I can do myself. And that's when, as I said earlier, I started writing off to various publishers and companies and to see what I could do. And, yeah.

Bryan:
Those prizes you have are quite good. Did it take long for you to get literary agents and publishers, and I think you mentioned an audiobook producer on board?

Paula :
Well, I have to tell you, Bryan, for this year's awards, we started working on the judges and the prizes in July last year, and it's about a good six to eight months' work, so it's a lot of work. It's constant writing off to people, constant backwards and forwards, getting various people on board. But when you actually see the results and you look at the judges and you see what a fantastic lineup of judges and the support of prizes we got, we got prizes that would help writers in some way. We don't want to just say, well, here's a little badge, stick it on your book, or stick it on your email signature and you can say that you're a winner or you're a finalist. We want to offer something a lot more substantial, that it will support writers. So, yeah, it's a lot of work, but it is rewarding seeing that we are helping writers in some way.

Bryan:
What about the judges themselves, like will you have a celebrity judge this year?

Paula :
Yes, we're very excited because, on the screenplay award, we have Paul Michael Glaser who is very famous for Starsky and Hutch. And I was just talking to them this morning, asking them if I can put out a tweet about Starsky stepping out of his hero ... I've got this wonderful photo of him as an action hero, and just see would I be able to tweet him coming out of that beautiful image onto our judging panel. And they very kind, they've said, yes, I'm welcome to tweet it. So we're very excited to have Paul Michael Glaser, and we've got lots of full producers who are actively looking for work to produce. So again, if one of our writers wins, gets their work, gets it to a stage of being produced for film, wow, it will blow us away again. It's just going to be wonderful.

Bryan:
Just to approach it from the readers' point of view, do you believe readers buy books based on it being given an award? I'm thinking of the Booker Prize here, I guess. Do awards sell books?

Paula :
Awards definitely do sell books. There's two things I think that sell books. First and foremost, would be the story itself. The story, as somebody opens the book, if they just start reading the first few lines and can't reading and before they know it, they've been sitting in the same position for an hour, they haven't moved, they haven't had a drink of water and they're still reading, that's really what sells books because obviously, they're going to talk about it and tell other people, and so word will get around. And I think also having won an award is a big kudos. Having won a book award, it's a very big thing because you can tell people, my book has won this award. And that's important because I know with my book, when The Grotto's Secret won The People's Book Prize I had lots of people afterwards coming to me and say, "Oh, I heard that you'd won. Fantastic. I've just read your book. I love it. Now I want to read your other books."

Paula :
For authors, it's kind of a way of introducing your writing to new writers who haven't actually read any of your work. So if they hear about you've won an award, they'll read your work, the one that's won an award, and if they like it and really like your writing and your storytelling, then they'll buy your other books. So again, it does sell in a sort of off-handed way, so it is relevant. And it also is can win awards, I think that's very good kudos for them.

Bryan:
So if somebody is listening to this, and they're thinking of entering but they don't have anything ready or even written, what would you say to them?

Paula :
If they have an idea and they want to write something, if they can get themselves 10 pages and a very good idea of ... They've got to work out how they could do it, and they don't have to do today, they must have at least done it and entered by the 31st of May, I would say, take the chance, enter, it's worth it because you just never know what the judges would like. A lot of people just keep their ideas to themselves and they think, "Oh, nobody would like this idea or I don't know if my writing is any good." I think to be brave and to take that chance and to step out of that, I call it come out as a writer, so take their chance, come out as a writer, put your work out there, and let the judges see what they think.

Paula :
And then from an author's point of view, if they've already got work and they've really got lots of work, I would say give it a go because you never know. You never know what could happen. If those judges, we've got so many judges, we've got about 80 judges, so you never know if one of those judges might just fancy that story and want to do something with that story. So there's lots of ways for writers and authors to get their work discovered. So I would say, give it a go, be brave, take the chance.

Bryan:
Yeah. I used to enter awards a few years ago, but what I liked about them was it forced me to finish the stories because you have to submit it for a deadline. So that was the main thing I got from it, got into the habit of finishing stories because beforehand I would just spend a lot of time be rewriting the same things over and over. What about your own writing, are you working on a follow-up to The Grotto's Secret?

Paula :
Yes, I am. After The Grotto's Secret deal, it was a series. The Grotto's Secret, one that followed after that was The Sacred Symbol, and then The Luna Legacy. And then strangely enough, at the end of the three, I wrote the prequel. Normally, people are the prequel first, but I wrote the prequel, which is a mixer. I'm now writing it's as a TV series and I'm trying to get sold as a TV series. So hopefully, that will one day pan out. I've also since written, last year or the year before actually, I had published Flying Without Wings, which is a historical thriller, and I'm just doing another historical thriller as well set in the war. So both of these last two historical thrillers are set in a war.

Paula :
This one I'm writing at the moment is set in the French Occupation and it's about the sort of Vishy Free Zone, and Grand Bordeaux, and stuff because my husband and I love driving up there. We're sort of north of Malaga, so we're only eight to 12 hours away from France, so we often go up there. At the moment, of course, we can't, but when things are okay to travel, we love to go up there and to visit the south of France. So on one of my visits, I just kind of got the idea to set a story on this beautiful river of Bordeaux, and so that's my next story, but if I can get it finished, if I'm not working on the Page Turner Awards, I might be able to get it finished. But at the moment, I'm just so busy with the awards I'm struggling to finish it.

Bryan:
Trying to do both, yeah, I can imagine. I was going to ask, how do you balance writing while running the awards?

Paula :
Well, sometimes it can be quite difficult. I get up very early in the morning. And we've got to eight cats, so if they hear me, then they think I'm coming to give them food, so I have to tiptoe down the passage, leave my husband sleeping, tiptoe down a passage, go down to the spare room, and then I can have a couple of hours of writing. So I try and do that every morning. And then most of my day is spent working on Page Turner Awards. And my husband is a big rugby fan. He loves Leinster because he comes from Dublin. He loves Leinster and Munster. So whenever he's watching rugby, then I quickly steal a few hours to do my writing as well. So it's kind of a balance. I think most people and most writers would find the same balancing, they're writing in between family, friends, caring for cats, or older family. And yeah, it's just trying to fit it all in and also fitting it into work as well. So you just got to find the time I think if you're a writer.

Bryan:
Yeah. I know finding the time is definitely a challenge. But you mentioned there about going on research trips for your historical fiction. So how do you approach it these days because it's the same where you are as it is in Ireland, we can't go too far because of the virus? So how do you research your work?

Paula :
Well, luckily just before the pandemic broke, it was the summer before, so it wasn't last year, the year before my husband and I went up to Bordeaux and we did a lot of wrecking. We went around lots of different locations. I got lots of leaflets, pamphlets. We took lots of photos. I took videos. I did lots of notes of the settings and how I felt about it, and the scenery, and senses of the area, smells and sounds, and all of this kind of thing. And I came home with a big pack of stuff. So lucky I did all of that just before the pandemic otherwise, it would be difficult. I think if you can't travel, there's a lot of good information on the internet, a lot of good stuff that you can Google, or you can go to Google Maps and do the satellite thing, and check the area out.

Paula :
But, I think a lot of people have to do that anyway if they can't afford to travel. So yeah, in today's age, I think a lot of people are able to do that. I remember when I first started writing a long time ago, I used to, and before the internet, you'd have to go to the library and borrow books, and sometimes they'd take weeks to come. I mean, really it was very, very hard.

Bryan:
Yeah, we're spoiled with Amazon.

Paula :
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So this was before the days of Amazon and the internet, but now it's much easier for writers to do the research luckily.

Bryan:
Did you always want to write historical fiction or was that a genre that you kind of moved towards over time?

Paula :
I didn't actually plan to write historical fiction. When I was first started writing, I did write quite a few. For some reason, I've kind of always been into thrillers. Maybe that's just because I love thrillers myself. I love reading thrillers and watching thriller movies. So I wrote a few sort of contemporary thrillers, modern-day thrillers. And then when my husband and I moved to Spain, it was actually quite amazing because we walked onto our property to come and see this house for the first time, and we'd been looking, we'd seen about a hundred houses and we just couldn't decide. And we walked onto this property where we're in the middle of nowhere, we really are. It's beautiful and a nature reserve. And we walked onto this property and I looked down the valley and this character just came into my head and she was a young maiden in 1492. And the stuff was just in my head and her story was just there and I was so amazed.

Paula :
Anyway, we went home, we loved the property. We said we wanted to come back and look at it, but we bought it a week later. But during the time that we were waiting for the whole property to, the payment and the ownership really to go through, I wrote this character and it became the whole series, and the main character became the main character who's followed through the whole series, which now, I'm actually looking at even more stories that can be a part of her journey and I'm writing those stories into a TV series. So yeah, she just came to me out of the blue. So it was kind of as you say, I wasn't planning to write historical fiction, I was planning to write thrillers, but the historical thrill is just kind of ... She just came to me and because of that, I've written that series.

Paula :
And then the two world war ones, again, I didn't plan to write them. I didn't actually ever want to write about the Second World War because I think it was a horrible time. It was really a horrible place to be in and to live in. But again, the character came to me. And I think that's what happens to writers. And you probably know this for yourself, when some character comes to you, you're taken away with them. You just carry on. My husband says I've got squatters in my head and these squatters, they just live there and they just talk to me and tell me things and kind of you get so caught up in their lives and you just can't help writing what their story is. And so, yeah, so I've written these two historical fiction world war stories, which again, I didn't plan to write.

Bryan:
And do you write in Word or what's your writing process?

Paula :
Yeah, mostly I write in Word. I do some writing in Campfire. Campfire, a piece of software. I do some writing in Scrivener. I've been looking around to see some really good writing software. So I'm always keen to find really good software and I've just recently discovered Campfire. I also use other software like ProWritingAid. I use ProWritingAid for self-editing and it's a fantastic piece of software and they are sponsors. Campfire and ProWritingAid are sponsors of Page Turner Awards. ProWritingAid is just an amazing piece of software for self-editing because it just shows you how many times you've used the word again and one particular word too many times, or your grammar, and too repetitive use of adverbs. It's so good because it just really pinpoints all the little mistakes that you make and it helps you because then you can go and make those changes before you submit it to awards, or before you submit it to agents, or even before you self-publish it. So, yeah. So I use various pieces of software and various dictionary stuff as well.

Bryan:
Yeah. ProWritingAid works really well with Scrivener. I'm working on a book at the moment and it's fantastic. It's almost copy and paste text into it, another tool. But what about the actual research for your books? Because I could imagine you have a lot of notes for historical fiction. So where do you keep all of them or how do you manage them?

Paula :
Yeah, that kind of thing, I keep in Scrivener. I find Scrivener is very good for that because I have one Scrivener file which is just for research. Sometimes when I first started writing, I used to keep it inside that particular book, I mean, in that particular Scrivener file. But then I found actually it's better for me to keep one Scrivener file with all my research. So I just got different folders within Scrivener and I just call it whatever, World War II research, and then I have subfolders within those folders of different things. And then I find it easy, so if now, when I'm writing about my second book on the World War II sort of setting, I can quickly go back and look up anything that I want to find or any notes that I've made. And as I'm finding new information now because I'm writing about the south of France, I just quickly pop the information, so I save it there.

Paula :
And I think, especially for writers who want to take their writing further and who don't want to just be one book or two books, I think if they're really passionate about their work and believe in the work and want to take it to a TV series and into something like a screenplay award, it's good to keep your research because when you've written your book, you might go back and forget once you start writing your TV series or writing a film, you might forget certain things. And it's helpful to go back and remind yourself about those notes, so it's important to keep your work. Whether you keep it in Scrivener or anywhere else, Campfire, or if you keep it in a Word doc, however, you keep it, it's important that you can go back and find that work.

Bryan:
Yeah, I have a file called cutoffs, so I just copy and paste stuff there if I don't know what to do with it. And then I just go back and read through it if I ever get stuck. But yeah, I definitely agree, just because you don't want to use it for this project, you might use it for the next one.

Paula :
Yeah. I know sometimes if you cut a character, a minor character, you might want to use that character in another story and just change them slightly. So it's also good to keep any cutoffs' information, keep them because you might want to use them as a future character.

Bryan:
Yeah. I know the same applies for non-fiction even if you have the original sources, it can save a lot of time and hassle referencing later on.

Paula :
Absolutely.

Bryan:
I was just going to ask, where can people find out more information about the awards or how can they enter?

Paula :
So what they do is they go along to pageturnerawards.com. On our main menu, we've got enter, which has got information about how you enter, we've got register, they register. Once they've registered, they get a verify email, and that will take them back to the site. They log in, and when they log in, they log in as an author or a writer or a screenwriter, and all the information's there. Once they've registered and then they go back to log in, it just says how to enter the awards and they just follow those steps, and then it takes them through the steps of entering the awards. It's all online. The judging is done online. Everything is online, so they don't present anything to us. Literally, it's all presented on the website. They can choose if they want to have it private if they don't want anyone else to see it, only the judges. If they wanted to be public and other people to see it, and they want some feedback on it, they can also choose to have feedback on it.

Paula :
And then as I say, when the time comes for the judging in June or July, the judges get on and look at it and do the judging. So it's a very easy process and we've had quite a few go through the process, a few hundred authors go through the process and they find it pretty easy. So I think it's only somebody who's not web savvy might not be able to do it. But look, I think most people understand the basics of entering something into an online award nowadays.

Bryan:
Yeah, I'd encourage people to enter. Well, thank you, Paula. It was great to talk to you.

Paula :
Thank you very much for having me, lovely to be here with you today. And hopefully, we'll see some of your people that listen in, and hopefully, they'll join us, and maybe we'll see them in the finals.

Bryan:
For sure.

Bryan:
I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. If you did, please leave a rating on the iTunes Store. And if you want to accomplish more with your writing, please visit becomeawritertoday.com/join and I'll send you a free email course. Thanks for listening.