Imagining the Ministry: our virtual writing lab

Posted by theministry on 21st April 2020

39 intrepid young writers aged 8-12 joined Ministry of Stories for our first ever virtual writing lab!

The Ministry has been uncharacteristically quiet for several weeks and our writers and volunteers imagined what might be going on there in our absence. Who is sitting in our chairs? Is the Chief on lockdown in their office? What is alive in the shapeshifting shelves? Inspired by Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, ‘Be Very Afraid’, our writers wrote their own imaginings. Here are two…

by Olivia

Dear reader, if you read this poem all of this is true so beware!
When it’s empty chairs become claws gripping the books that become bats,
while the board floats around in a black spirit.
In the shop the eyeballs bounce on the creaky floor while the skeleton dances with the brain…

By Maysaa

Deep in Hoxton, the Ministry of Stories stands. Once a shop and a club flooding with children, now just a building that nobody dares to step into.

Inside you may expect the ordinary: chairs and tables where they were put last and the atmosphere so quiet, you can hear a pin drop. 

However, it is quite the opposite now. Inside is pure chaos. 

Bouncing around the room is the snack table spider. As you can probably guess, it disguises itself as a snack table but uses its snacks to lure children and eats them.

Beware the snack table….

Also joining in with the anarchy is the poison chalk spider which disguises itself as just a piece of chalk but when you take a hold of it, it delicately bites your hand and poison suddenly oozes through your veins.

Beware the chalk…

Many other monstrosities lay in the club, so before you go, be careful, be afraid of the creatures.


Thank you to all the young writers who took part, to all their families for supporting them and to our brilliant volunteers for their online mentoring. Thanks to our funders for continuing to make writing spaces possible for our young people in this challenging time. And thank you, for reading.

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