Ashley Forshaw is every English teacher’s dream.

“Grammar is important,” Forshaw of Lewiston said. “And I think it should be used well.”

Forshaw is 17, lives in Lewiston and loves to read and write.

“She reads, reads, reads a lot,” Forshaw’s mother, Kim Harding, said. “If I had to punish her, which never happens, her punishment would be to take away her books. I told her to go outside once, and she went and sat in the back of the van and read a book.” 

Forshaw cleared everything from her bedroom closet to make a library for her books.

“Ashley invests all her money in books,” Harding said. “I’m going to have the coolest library as a grandmother one day.”


Forshaw had an early jump with the alphabet. At 5 months old, she played flash cards with her grandmother and could read by the time she entered kindergarten. She was reading at a high school level by the fourth grade.

“There has always been something unique with her,” Harding said. “She can sit there and read for hours. It’s all about books with her.”

Forshaw also likes to write.

“I remember writing a book about an octopus in first grade.” Forshaw said. “I had a life goal of being published before 18,” the senior at James Madison High School said. 

Forshaw attended Pettingill Elementary School, Lewiston Middle School and Lewiston High School for two years before enrolling at the virtual school. 

“Being published had to happen, or I was going to be very upset,” Forshaw said.


Forshaw reached her goal.

The book she started writing in eighth grade, “It all Started with an Apple,” was published in April under Forshaw’s pen name, Ashley Winters. 

Harding was concerned about her daughter’s frequent use of Wattpad, an online writing community. So she encouraged Forshaw to establish a pen name to avoid too many details about her being available on the Internet. 

Forshaw’s book begins when the outgoing Kyla persuades her closed-off, very judgmental friend, Brianne, to chuck an apple across the school cafeteria to see who her future love will be. The piece of fruit hits the school’s most popular guy, who Brianne thinks is all smiles, but has no substance. 

Readers find out that Dannon Barone is not as fake as Brianne thinks he is. 

“It all Started with an Apple” is available on Amazon, KidPub and Bookility. 


“I am going about my normal day,” Forshaw said. “If I sell a book — great. And if I don’t, oh well.” 

“It does not feel any different than before she was a published author,” Forshaw’s 12-year-old sister, Kayla, said. “Because she is still her normal, crazy self.”

Forshaw tells other young writers “not to give up when things get hard. I hit writer’s block for just about anything. 

“Don’t fall in love with your first draft,” Forshaw said. “There is a lot that can be fixed with your first draft.”

And don’t forget: “Grammar saves lives,” Forshaw said. “It should be used well.” 

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