Author passes on top tips to Ashville College pupils

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A well-known children’s author and blogger has been coaching pupils from a Harrogate school in the art of penning a best-selling short story.

Ruth Eastham, whose fifth book is to be published later this year, spent the day at Ashville College leading writing workshops for Year 7 and 8 students, as part of the school’s annual Book Week.

During the lunch break, Ms Eastham signed copies of her previous four books – which she describes as “edgy fiction where the past meets the present” - for a host of young fans.

The Lancashire-born former teacher, best-known for her novel The Memory Cage, gave the Year 8 pupils a masterclass in “micro” or “flash” fiction, where a complete story is told in between 250 and 400 words.

For her session with the Year 7s, the writer got her young protégées to think of a “memory” as the starting point for fiction and non-fiction writing.

And, with a memory in mind - be it a place, a person or an object - she got the budding authors to write the opening paragraphs of their own novel.

Ashville College’s Librarian Laura Herring said: “Ruth’s workshops were really inspirational and the Year 7s and 8s thoroughly enjoyed working with her.

“Being a former teacher, Ruth knew exactly how to get the best from the students, and her enthusiasm for books, reading and writing was contagious.”

She added: “Book Week is a popular and important feature on our calendar, and one that pupils of all ages thoroughly enjoy and always benefit from.”