AN AYR-BASED children’s author has led the publication of a new book written by local writers.

Lorraine Johnston, who is writer in residence at Dundonald Castle, has written four children’s books, with proceeds from three of the books going to local charities like Whiteleys Retreat as well as Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Lorraine’s career has led her to publication events and book signings in America.

And now a writer’s retreat at Dundonald Castle led by the Ayr writer has resulted in “The Pocket Anthology” being published, a collection of stories from writers situated in the area.

Lorraine told the Advertiser: “In June, I started to run writing workshops at Dundonald Castle.

“Not knowing whether there was going to be any interest, it was great to learn that the workshops were fully booked almost immediately.

“It soon became apparent that not only were these first-time writers keen and dedicated, but they were also very talented.

“They all shared the same dream that one day they would have something published.

“So, an idea formed and ‘The Pocket Anthology’ was created.

“Each writer wrote a story either featuring a pocket, or a pocket had significance in their story. They all wanted to gift their stories for this anthology and the copyright would belong to the Friends of Dundonald Castle SCIO charity.

“The purpose of this first publication would be to raise funds for the charity through sales.

“This was a lovely testament to the local engagement and projects that can happen and their support of their beloved Dundonald Castle.”

One of Scotland’s most unexplored outdoor attractions, Dundonald Castle was the historic home to Scots King Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce.

It also has historic links to the Stewart dynasty, the Wallace family, and the Cochranes, favourites of Charles II.

A Dundonald Castle Facebook post said: “Over the last few months, the Write Here at Dundonald Castle Writing Group have been working hard on writing ‘The Pocket Anthology’.

“Led by our #WriterinResidence @raine_johnston, these previously unpublished and fledgling writers have published their first book!

“The book is a collection of seven short stories based on the theme of ‘The Pocket’. All very different and thought-provoking.

“This group started as a few writing workshops back in Summer 2021 and quickly developed into a regular writing group.

“We are immensely proud of them and are excited to see what else is to come.”

The Pocket Anthology is available at Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre and there is information on how to order a copy online via their website

Unfortunately Dundonald Castle is temporarily closed whilst high level masonry surveys are carried out on the structure.