Emma has Christmas book published

A Dunblane schoolgirl has had her first book published at the age of just 11.

Emma Russell, winner of the Thistles Christmas story writing competition, was joined by friends, family and classmates at her first book launch.

Last year, the student beat over 100 local children to win a Christmas story writing competition, hosted by Thistles shopping centre in Stirling.

The youngster from St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School in Dunblane, Stirling wrote A Thistle’s Adventure, which follows the story of Kalo the naughty elf and his attempts to sabotage Christmas at Thistles.

Emma won over the judges including award-winning author, Alan Windram, who met with her and her classmates to discuss how to write a book and what it’s like to be an author.

On Saturday, Emma, now one of the country’s youngest authors, welcomed a queue of customers alongside her classmates to the launch of her published book at Waterstones, Stirling.

Friends, family and classmates joined her at the book launch to support her as she sold copies of her book in an effort to raise money for her school.

Thistles enlisted the help of local Stirling artist, Lauren Ashley, who brought Emma’s characters to life through beautiful hand-drawn illustrations.

Emma said: “I hope this book makes this year’s Christmas as special for everyone else as it is for me. Lauren’s illustrations are magical and bring the story to life – I’m so excited.”

Gary Turnbull, Centre Director at Thistles said: “We were delighted to grant Emma’s wish of turning her story in to a published picture book.

“Emma’s writing really stood out amongst the other entries last year and we’re delighted to have this come full circle and host the official launch in the run up to Christmas”.

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