Children writing for pleasure

The Story Engine, from the Ministry of Stories

What is the Ministry of Stories?

We champion the writer in every child.   We are a creative writing and mentoring centre that supports and inspires young people aged 8-18 in disadvantaged areas of east London to write.   We believe that the best way for children to acquire skills and realise their potential is through the joyful discovery of stories and the development of their imaginations. 

What is The Story Engine?

A digital toolkit to build the writing skills and confidence of children aged 9-13 in extracurricular writing clubs.  This imaginatively designed platform will provide everything you need to establish your own club in your local school, library, community centre, arts centre or theatre.

It will provide:

●   Inspiration from well-known professional writers

●   Fun, creative writing exercises to get children started

●   Feedback from trained writing mentors to keep them on track

●   A platform to publish their work


Why the contribution is important

The problem and our solution

Too many young people are leaving school without the ability to read and write confidently.  We know that lacking literacy skills can have serious implications for their opportunities in later life. 48% of UK prisoners have a reading age of 11 years old or younger.

At the Ministry of Stories we make writing fun for children and give them the confidence to be authors themselves.  We do this by:-

●   Allowing their imaginations to lead

●   Connecting them with professional writers in all forms

●   Providing one-to-one support from trained volunteer writing mentors

●   Publishing and producing their work

●   Making it fun.

Research published by the National Literacy Trust in 2016 showed that children and young people who write outside school are five times more likely to be writing above the expected level for their age, compared with young people who never write outside school.  Those children that enjoy writing are 7 times more likely to be writing above the expected level.

Our goal is that the Story Engine becomes the essential tool to help more of these children to become more motivated, confident and creative writers. Reading the London CLC idea about sharing and collaborating, we could work with other literature agencies and school networks to create something that had strong user value and social return.

Why us?

MoS has been running writing workshops for disadvantaged children and young people in east London for 7 years through school visits and after-school writing clubs.  In that time we have worked with over 10,000 young people and trained over 8,000 people to be volunteer writing mentors providing the one-to-one support with writing that we believe makes a difference.  We have also built up a wealth of experience and the creative resources to help others support children’s writing.

We also know it works. The impact of our methodology has been independently evaluated by the Institute of Education demonstrating what we do has significant benefits for children’s motivation, confidence and creativity in writing.

by lucymacnab on August 07, 2017 at 10:54AM

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