A newly-published author who grew up in St Annes is aiming to follow a return home for Christmas with visits to Fylde schools to pass on the benefit of her writing skills.
Jenna Rothwell, who has made a career in the entertainment industry since leaving St Annes to study drama, has realised a long-held ambition with the publication of her first book, Ben The Outside Dog.
It’s a children’s story, aimed at under fives, which was inspired by a spell Jenna spent living in Australia.
Jenna, 30, is a former deputy head girl at King Edward and Queen Mary’s School, who previously attended Mayfield Primary School, St Annes.
Mum and dad, Nick and Sue, still live in St Annes and Jenna, who is based in London, where she runs her own children’s entertainments company, is heading back to Fylde for the festive season.
She then hopes to return in the New Year to conduct children’s workshops at her former schools, where her lifelong love of writing were first nurtured.
“I am so proud to have had my book published – I have always loved writing and this has always been an ambition of mine,” said Jenna.
“I have done my first couple of author workshops at primary schools down south, which were a tremendous success, and I also did my first public reading of Ben the Outside Dog as part of Dulwich Village’s Christmas Fair.
“It will be wonderful if I can come and read and meet the children at my old schools.
“I’ve already been in touch with AKS, where I was deputy head girl when it was known as King Edward and Queen Mary School, and the reaction has been very positive.”
Jenna lived in the Melbourne area for four years after meeting her Australian partner Brett, and her book was inspired by the family farm dog Ben.
“As a Brit, I wasn’t really aware of keeping dogs outside and didn’t understand this concept, until I met the wonderfully protective Ben and learned how important his job is,” said Jenna.
“Many English children would be unaware of the important role farm dogs in Australia play, so it’s highly educational.”
Jenna’s experiences of communicating with children, and her skill with the pen, has led to the National Day Nurseries Association (NDDNA) recommending Ben The Outside Dog as one of its Top 10 Books.