The Ministry of Stories wanted to get more young people writing. The solution? The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Postal Service. For a small fee, humans of all ages can write to a vampire, yeti, werewolf, mummy, dragon, or gremlin. And a month later – with a little help from a volunteer ghostwriter – they’ll receive a personal reply.
We helped the Ministry launch this ambitious inter-creature initiative by crafting six monster personas, plus a set of guidelines that enable a team of ghostwriters to get under their skin, fur or bandages.
We tackled a considerable number of challenges to create a magical writing experience for children:
• How do we bring monsters to life in a way that feels believable and appropriate?
• What do children want to know about monsters?
• Where do we draw the line between the monster world and the human world?
In our writing guidelines, we’ve created an editorial framework which tackles these issues, including safeguarding practices. This helps volunteers to create a monster world which is fun for kids and adults, and a writing experience which is positive, imaginative and safe for children and parents.
We ran a ‘Horrorspondence’ workshop to train volunteer ghostwriters, and wrote an introduction letter from every monster, which are displayed at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies in Hackney.
Since the Postal Service launched on 31 October 2018, children have been enthusiastically corresponding with their favourite monsters, and honing their writing skills. Even better, all proceeds support the Ministry’s creative writing programmes.
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