Reflections on 2020

Posted by theministry on 28th December 2020

2020 wasn’t quite the year we planned, but we wanted to say thank you to our fantastic community of supporters who pulled together to ensure our young writers could continue to dream, write and publish.

As we head towards the end of 2020, we thought it would be nice to look back at what you helped us to achieve during this real topsy-turvy year.

Staying connected 

We couldn’t be together at Hoxton Street, but we still pulled together to ensure our community writing labs and schools projects carried on throughout the year.

Every week our programme team met our young writers via Zoom and together they created Inside you May Expect the Ordinary, our first digital anthology. 

We provided a new tool for our writers and schools to use throughout the year by fundraising for and upgrading our digital writing platform, The Story Engine, with thanks to the generosity of the Mercer’s Company and a wonderful group of individual supporters. Thank you.

Each week we also sent poetry prompts to students and our fantastic writing mentors were able feedback to each individual students. The result was Connected, a series of poems written by poets from Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools. Inspired by people, places and objects that the writers wanted to celebrate or remember, the poems express the frustration of lockdown and the longing for distant places and friends. 


‘We are connected through pasta,

Connected through pizza,

Connected through those sunny barbeque days and those

rainy soup days.’

by Yasmina


We also got busy with the power of snail mail, creating our Letterbox Surprises to help keep spirits up and channeled our wanderlust through the launch of the Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Travel, which you can buy for some ‘at home’ fun via our neighbours Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. And launched our new website.

A brand new group

Through all the challenges and upheaval we were delighted to proceed with our plans to launch our new writing group specifically for 11-15 year olds. This creates a new place and a stretch for our older writers as they progress through our programmes, as well as giving an option to alumni from our secondary school partners,

Turning Ten

We couldn’t have the party we hoped for, but that didn’t stop us celebrating ten adventure-filled years of Ministry of Stories with our socially distanced Birthday in a Box. We sold out of our party pack in just over a week! Thank you to everyone who joined us in blowing out our candles. Read more about the quotes on our birthday mugs here!

Mountains of snot 

This year you shopped local and made a real difference. Despite being forced to close our doors for most of the year, our magical shop Hoxton Street Monster Supplies was buzzing with online orders like never before and saw old favourites like Thickest Human Snot and newbies Cauldron Biscuits and Minty Maggots go flying off the shelves. All the profits from the store come right back to the Ministry, helping to fund even more writing clubs and projects. Thank you so much if you shopped from our store during lockdown.

Thank you!

So despite the twists and turns of 2020, you have helped so many young people to find their voice, to use writing as a tool to express themselves, and have fun along the way. Whatever role you play in the life of Ministry of Stories, thank you. Here’s to 2021 when we can all hopefully reunite at Hoxton Street once more.


NEXT PAGE: Spotlight on... Adrianna Jones