Undercover at Penguin Random House UK

Posted by theministry on 23rd February 2016

Captain Sock or Tim Can? We ask the pressing questions.

Penguin Random House UK (PRH) colleague and Ministry of Stories volunteer, Harriet Horobin-Worley, gives us the scope on PRH plans to fundraise for our young writers.

Hattie at Penguin Random House

Hattie at Penguin Random House


Tell us a little bit about yourself

I love reading everything from the latest thrillers to classic children’s books. I live in Hackney, in an old Victorian mansion block that I’m sure is haunted, and enjoy the many culinary delights of East London.

What do you do at Penguin Random House UK?

I’m a member of the digital publishing team, we work with authors and divisions across the company to tell stories in new ways. We produce digital products, apps and websites for projects that range from kids fiction to cookery to experimental sci-fi.

How have you been involved with Ministry?

A few years ago I volunteered as a story mentor. It was really great to work with the kids and feel like I was part of a bigger movement working to encourage children to express themselves creatively. As someone who is interested in storytelling, it was so rewarding to spend an afternoon helping a young person craft a story and improve their literacy. The Ministry also seems to attract the most interesting and inspiring volunteers, so it was great to meet them as well.

What is your favourite story and why?

This is a tough one, but my favourite story is probably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It’s such a beautiful and unique tale that I keep returning to, finding that I take different things away from it as I get older.

What are you most looking forward to partnering with the Ministry?

The Ministry are great at slanting ordinary events and activities with their own unique brand of fun and adventure. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can bring the expertise of our two companies together to create fireworks! I also can’t wait to get my hands on more of the cool and disgusting products from the Monster Supplies shop. Who knew that impacted earwax could be so delicious?

What kind of things will you be doing to raise money for our young writers?

I’m hoping to get involved with as much of the fundraising activities the company is putting on as I can, such as skydiving, the Three Peaks Challenge and of course some delicious bake sales.

Why do you think it’s important for young people to have a chance to discover their creativity?

Growing up, I was lucky enough to get an amazing arts education and have access to fantastic local libraries. They were a lifeline to me, as free resources that showed me a world outside my own experience, that exposed me to a range of possibilities, characters and places that I would never have dreamt of otherwise. Reading, writing and creating art allowed me to discover who I was and what I wanted from life, and I think it’s vital that all young people feel empowered to explore the world in this way.

Would you rather meet Captain Sock, a pirate who shoots socks from his cannon or Tim Can, a very adventurous tin can?*

Who wouldn’t want to sail the seven seas with Captain Sock? Plus you’d never have to buy another pair of socks.


*characters created by our young writers.

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