We can be weird here: Ten years in four quotes

Posted by Oliver Fox on 16th November 2020

A lot of things happened in 2010…

The finale of Lost was aired, Instagram’s very first post was uploaded, Justin Bieber’s career began. But arguably the most important was the transformation of an empty shop space in Hoxton into a place that took imagination very seriously.

This month, we’re celebrating ten years of Ministry of Stories with the Birthday in a Box – a small slice of Ministry joy in a tiny parcel posted to your front door. Each box contains a coffee mug featuring one of four quotes from our ten year history.

There’s a story behind each mug, so if you’re keen to get your hands on one, please make a donation to our fundraising campaign this November. 
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We can be weird here

Ministry of Stories was inspired by similar spaces set up in the USA by writer Dave Eggers, where young people could be encouraged to share their imaginations with pride. In his letter wishing us good luck as we opened our doors for the first time in 2010, Dave reminded us we were about to embark on a journey in which we would encounter the weird. Since that day “we can be weird here” has become an unofficial motto for our young writers, volunteers and staff.

We believe in clouds

In 2012, revolution was in the air! Our young writers founded The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch, accompanied with a manifesto, a national anthem, and a letter to the Prime Minister. Proclamations included in ‘We believe in fairness’, ‘We believe in fun’, ‘We believe in no more violence’ – and ‘We believe in clouds’.

The secret is cinnamon

In 2017, our young writers began to explore the world of culinary writing. Helped out by local parents and chefs, this culminated in The Tasty Book, which shared dishes, family recipes, and mouth-watering stories from around the world. As Melody’s poem about chocolate and honey brownies dutifully reminded us, “the secret is cinnamon”.

Think like an owl

We champion the writer in every child, and in 2018 we took this one step further, encouraging children aged 9-10 to become writing mentors, sharing everything they’d learnt from Ministry of Stories with their younger peers. Think Like An Owl – an anthology of writing from mentors and their mentees – came from this. The title quote comes from Ava-Rae’s short story ‘The Golden Apple’, sharing excellent advice from an excellent writer. 

Join us in celebrating ten years of storytelling – and supporting another ten – with our Birthday in a Box. Thank you.

Donate to celebrate

 

 

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