Nora Ephron, the celebrated screenplay writer and journalist who died in 2012, always used to say the most helpful storywriting lesson she was ever taught occurred during her first journalism lesson.
Here is an anglicised version of the assignment the teacher gave her:
‘During this lesson I want you to write the lead to a newspaper story. Here are the facts. Sarah J Vain, the headteacher at the Michael Gove Academy in Westminster, announced today that the entire teaching faculty will travel to Cambridge next Thursday for a colloquium in new teaching methods. Among the speakers will be the philosopher Alain de Botton, the headmaster of Wellington College Anthony Seldon and the shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.’
What would be your lead?