Meet Cath

Posted by theministry on 23rd May 2024

We’re very happy to welcome Cath and Jane, who together are heading up our schools’ work, bringing the magic of writing into the classroom.


Cath Greenwood

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’ve always worked in the creative learning sector;  I had a placement with Leeds Theatre in Education Company as part of my degree at York St John’s University back in the 1980’s and knew straight away the combination of arts and education was something I wanted to be a part of.

I have two grown up daughters and a dog who is named Treacle after a dog in a story a child wrote in a project I worked on during lockdown.

Alongside my work at the Ministry of Stories I’m training to be a Feldenkrais teacher; it’s a brilliant movement practice which, when more people find out about it, should become more popular than yoga or Pilates!

What did you do before joining the Ministry of Stories?

I’ve worked in arts education in many different roles; as an actor, a director and participatory arts practitioner as well as managing projects in Music Education (CM) and Intergenerational Arts (Magic Me). From 2006 to 2022 I worked at the Unicorn Theatre devising and managing the learning programme. I love theatre and I love supporting teachers and young people in schools to explore and experiment with ways they can express themselves through the arts.

Why is bringing creative writing into schools so important?

Being able to write and express your thoughts, feelings and understandings is such a powerful tool and one that will be with you throughout life. Teachers are incredibly creative in their work, but they also are very busy (and in primary schools have to be on top of all subjects). Bringing professional writers into school – people who are passionate and have dedicated themselves to writing – is inspiring and gives children and young people an insight into how and why they do it. It’s all about unlocking potential and experienced writers can help children and young people to experiment and find the forms to express their ideas.

What are you most looking forward to as part of your new role?

Being around talented and inspirational writers is exciting. I’ve worked closely with playwrights and love having a window into their processes – they’re all so different – but I’ve not had so much contact  with novelists, poets and illustrators. I was in the Ministry of Stories the other day eavesdropping on a conversation Jenny and Mayo were having about whether they preferred writing in the present or past tense. It was so interesting and they were so animated and enthusiastic, it brought it alive for me.

Which of our schools’ workshops would you most like to take part in and why?

I’d like to take part in the Gothic Fiction workshop because it’s all about withholding information and building tension. How do you write something that hints at something but doesn’t give everything away too soon? Michelle who is running the workshop soon talks about working with the idea of ‘haunting’ and I think that is a wonderful concept with so many possibilities and layers of meaning.

If you were a student for a day, what story would you write or character would you create?

I started a story a long time ago that I might go back to. It was a teenage girl who wanted to get away from home and so got a train into the big city. I don’t know why I wrote it and it feels a bit cliched but there’s obviously something I’m interested in exploring – what it’s like to be a teenager now and how different it was when I was that age.

Our young writers love breadsticks and ‘easy peelers’. What’s your favourite snack to fuel imagination?

Maybe a juicy olive and some cashew nuts.

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