Happy 13th Birthday Ministry of Stories

Posted by theministry on 29th November 2023

We’ve just turned 13 and officially entered our teenage years.

Last Friday, we hosted a huge, raucous and cake-fuelled birthday party for more than 100 of our young writers, volunteers, staff and some of our long-standing supporters.

The afternoon provided the chance to make your own paper BookBot; repurpose the Museum of Misused Objects (this isn’t a pumpkin, it’s a….); have a taste of our Monster Supplies; share an Unexpected Birthday Message and describe how we’ve helped you to grow on our tree of leaves.

It’s hard to believe, but back in 2010 we were launching our new brand new charity at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister, David Cameron. What were you up to?

We were so proud to be joined by one of our founders, Lucy Macnab, who shared a much-appreciated Unexpected Birthday Message: ‘Now you are 13, we hope it’s the luckiest year yet! You are all so talented, dedicated and weird! Stay that way!’

We also filled our walls with project highlights of the last 13 years. How many do you remember?

We’ve also presented a TedX Talk, launched and grown Speak Up, been supported by Letters Live, featured a Fox on a Trampoline and hosted our first ever Schools Celebration Event. Phew! We’ve been busy.

Through all of these programmes, and many more, over 17,000 young writers have passed through our doors and helped to shape and create fresh, incredible new writing.

We’ve just polished off our newest Trustee Report for 2022-2023 – which you can dip into here – but we also asked the Ministry of Stories team for their own personal highlights from the last year. We’ve edited it down….there were more!:

  • Hosting our second Zine Fair
  • Time Traveller’s Guide to Hoxton published in exciting, shiny, silver envelopes
  • Funders playing SPLAT!
  • Our incredible volunteers
  • Tactical Role Playing Games in our writing labs in Ice, Medieval and Upside Down Worlds
  • Former young writer, B, back for work experience
  • Saying YES! to a pop-up for Hoxton Street Monster Supplies at Leadenhall Market
  • Ya-sin’s slime pot
  • Team karaoke being cancelled
  • Parents attending our Board away day
  • Our massive schools’ celebration event in Tower Hamlets
  • Penlid the Cat destroying time
  • Spraying mould paint, building and then running our very own escape room
  • Paint-covered volunteers
  • Rebuilding, repairing and repainting the Ministry after the escape room
  • Marcel spicing up his life
  • Welcoming Maheni, Autumn, Jaime and Zoe – our first trainees
  • Morpeth Fantasy Fiction and their new worlds
  • Monster Month, Monster March and our Director Rob, suffering hours in soft play to raise money
  • Pen-covered volunteers
  • Securing Arts Council England National Portfolio Status for the next three years
  • Freelancer meet-up and our brilliant Writing Facilitator Gem having her baby
  • New products and suppliers for Monster Supplies
  • BookBot is ALIVE!
  • Hosting our National Writing Centre family meet-up
  • 6-8 year old pilot writing lab sessions
  • Revamp of our Monster Mail service and Ghostwriter training
  • Donating 100 Monster Mail letter writing packs to Hackney Foodbank
  • Fearless volunteers
  • Bringing the house down at our Ha Ha Hackney showcase at Curzon Cinema
  • Koby’s blue crush velvet suit
  • Linden’s flower suit
  • Unstoppable volunteers
  • Speak Up! At the Houses of Parliament and Shoreditch Town Hall
  • Neil Gaiman and his great tweet
  • Shopkeeper Paul’s incredible cape
  • HSMS Crowdfunding campaign
  • Author visits by Inua Ellams and Aisling Fowler
  • Stupendous volunteers

If you would like to help us to celebrate our 13th Birthday – why not try hosting your own Brilliant Books Quiz fundraiser and help to keep our writing programmes free for local children during 2024.

Whatever your role is with us at the Ministry of Stories, thank you for everything you’ve done to support us over the past thirteen years. With your help, we promise there will be loads more creative mischief and joy on the way. Find out more about us here.

Writing Facilitator - Community Programme 1



NEXT PAGE: Story Spotlight - Dear Burger