Spotlight on Ministry of Stories

Published on Jul 19, 2023

Aim of organisation

The main aim is to help local children, especially from poor families, with their writing and reading skills.

Name of Project

Community Writing Labs – Time To Write

What are the key objectives of this project?

For children’s writing to improve, alongside with their imagination, courage and confidence. The area has a Literacy Vulnerability score of 78. The project aims to address a lack of reading and writing skills in the area.

Ins and outs of the scheme

The project started in January and finished in March, with 53 sessions delivered across 5 writing labs. Building on last year’s success, Time to Write returned and held another Zine Fair, which was expanded to bring in a new weekly club for 6-8 year olds. This was programmed to increase the number of expert masterclasses to support young writers to explore their interests.

Over the course of 12 weeks, young writers explored different forms of writing, such as poetry, magazine interviews, and cartoons, and followed their interests with additional masterclasses. These masterclasses shared technical skills, provided insights into the art of writing and how it can be turned into a viable career. After trying out lots of different kinds of writing in the first half of the term, the writers developed their projects and eventually turned them into beautiful vibrant zines using drawing and collage alongside their writing. The zines that the children created were showcased in a Zine Fair on the 15th of April, where more than 80 visitors attended.


113 young people took part, ages were from 6 till 12 years old. They attend one of the 6 local schools in the area , where at least 40% of the students qualify for Pupil Premium.


Linden McMahon, a published poet, performer and fiction writer, leads the project, and is joined by 5 supporting artists who were commissioned to support. They attend to the children and help them with their writing during the classes.