schoolgirl Sarah Bannister has become a successful author at the age of only 11.

As well as all but selling out with her first book of short stories, Sarah has raised more than £100 for the British Heart Foundation.

The enterprise by Sarah, a pupil at Luttons county primary school, near Malton, is in memory of her granddad, the Rev Colin Smith, who died last year after serving for many years as Vicar of Helperthorpe, Weaverthorpe and Luttons.

Enthusiastic writer Sarah whose top subject at school is English, reflected on her young life to produce eight stories, drawing on her memories of her experiences. She was encouraged by her family, especially Rosamund Leigh, her aunt, who funded the printing of the book as a Christmas present for Sarah.

Now the first 50 copies have been sold for donations to the Heart Foundation which funds research into heart disease.

"We are all very proud of Sarah - she has written some lovely stories and is a real credit to the school" said head teacher Tracey Gillbank.

Grandma Jean Smith - herself a former teacher at the school for 21 years - said "It is a wonderful achievement for a little girl and a lovely way of remembering her grandfather. The stories make jolly good reading and the money raised has gone to a very good cause."

Updated: 09:13 Tuesday, May 20, 2003