Ten pupils, one week, 11,000 words and 16 pages; that in a nutshell is the latest edition of Fearns Chat.
Every year since I started working for myself, I have spent a whole week at Fearns Community Sports College, Stacksteads, producing the school newspaper.
The paper is A4 size and packed with information about school life for the whole year. The pupils who participate discover information they never knew about their school. It is a tough week, they have to work hard and on their own initiative, but they produce an amazing product that they, and the school, can be rightly proud of.
After putting up with me for five days, the school paper is finished, stories written, photographs taken, pages laid, proof read, corrected and sent to the printer. No mean feat.
Fearns Chat is now the only flagship publication for the school, because the pupils do such a good job.
A chance offer to rebrand, relaunch and update my book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster has had an incredible response.
The original book was published in 2010 under the title Weirdo Mosher Freak, the new version The Sophie Lancaster Story, has been updated to bring the story right up to 2016 as so much has happened with the foundation set up in Sophie's name while three of those responsible for the attack on Rob are now out on licence.
The book has been published by true crime author RJ Parker from Canada, who reviewed the original book back in 2012. His daughter has a Goth friend who is not treated fairly and RJ gave her my book to read... the rest is history.
Many new reviews have been posted to Amason in the UK, America, Canada and Australia The book has been consistently in the top 10 for true crime and UK history Kindle books. It will also be recorded as an audiobook.
My former employer the Rossendale Free Press documented the story.
Since the publication of Weirdo Mosher Freak, sales have resulted in 860 pounds being donated to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I will continue to donate money from sales of the new book to benefit the work of the foundation.
Photograph Liz Henson Photography
When businessman Andy Davies was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, his working life was obviously affected, but he didn't expect his career toÂ be over.
He took his former bosses to a tribunal and won, although he is still awaiting payment from the company's insurers when it went into liquidation.
However, he knew he could return to work, he just needed the right conditions and now he has set up his own business, he also lays down the rules and can work successfully to his capabilities and limitations.
I was commissioned to write his heartwarming story as a freelance journalist and it was printed in the Big Issue In The North. Thank you to Liz Henson Photography for the photo.
Artist Laura Doherty has so far painted five of her former classrooms with giganitic murals bringing history, English and music to life.
The former Haslingden High School student painted her first classroom when she was 16 and, after finishing her A levels, she was invited to become the school's first artist in residence.
Laura, who will be going on to study painting at a London Art School is determined her school will never forget her.
My story on Laura made page leads in the Rossendale Free Press and Lancashire Telegraph. Thank you to Liz Henson Photography for the accompanying photographs.
Catherine Smyth Media is a one-stop shop for Press and PR with an added specialism - creating school newspapers
I write news stories and take photographs for businesses, organisations and individuals with proven results. I have had contracts with two Rossendale high schools since 2009, gained a third in 2015, worked for local charity REAL for more than three years and since 2012 have worked for Rossendale-based charity Veterans In Communities. I am on contract with JJO kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturerer in Bacup and I also work for a number of businesses as and when they require. I produce newsletters as well as news stories for the written press, online media, TV and radio.
Why not let me run a School News project at your school?
You can choose either a School News in a Week project with the end product of a 16-page full colour newspaper written by the schools own pupils promoting literacy and inclusion.Alternatively you can select the School News in a Day project which produces a 4-page paper and links in with the national curriculum journalistic writing taught in Year 6.
Check out the School News section to see examples of a paper in a day projects. Click here to read testimonials from teachers and pupils.
I also offer an after-school club newspaper service to produce a termly or half-termly paper written by primary school pupils.
I produce brochures and school prospectuses, which can be printed in school saving on costs or externally, if preferred.
To see an example click on the above photograph.
I work as a freelance journalist and photographer.
I have been a journalist since 1988 working on local evening and weekly papers. My last role was as news editor so I have organisational, subbing and page laying experience.
I was a school governor for 10 years, firstly at nursery and then at my sons' primary school. While a governor, I developed a successful school newspaper at my sons' school and now share that experience with other schools through a one-week, one-day or termly or half-termly enrichment programmes.
Check out my School News page for more details and testimonials for feedback.
I have also written a book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster - Weirdo Mosher Freak, which can be bought direct from me. Just follow the link to ebay. To find out more click on my Sophie Lancaster Book page. The book has now been rebranded The Sophie Lancaster Story and is available on Amazon.
In a voluntary capacity, I am a Cub leader and chairman of the local carnival committee.