Ministry of Stories and Monster Supplies

So S is for Scary, Stories and Supplies today for my entry in Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday now all I need is a monster aged 8 or over…..

Have you ever heard of 826 literacy project? I hadn’t until yesterday, quite by chance via Twitter and that gives me a fourth S today Serendipity but I digress dear reader. The 826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization, set up to assist students aged six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Sounds brilliant doesn’t it? This is one time that I want to be 10 years old again!

Currently there are 9 centres dotted all over the USA and now, luckily for us, some very hard working people who you can read about on We Made This have secured funding from the Arts Council and The JJ Charitable Trust the author Nick Hornby jumped on board and Hoxton Street Monster Supplies –  Purveyor of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind opened back in November 2010 for the delight of kids across the land and I WANT TO GO NOW! Only I need to be aged 8 – 18…even my best attempt at a monster disguise won’t let me get away with the loss of that many years!

The shop was established in 1818 and has been supplying Britain’s extensive monster community since. In fact you can find a whole range of Tinned Fears each containing a specially commissioned short story from authors like Nick Hornby and Zadie Smith, there is a wonderful selection of Human Preserves and a very handy Neck-Bolt Tightener amongst other necessary monster wares. The beadier eyed beast will note that the shelves of the shop conceal an entrance. A secret and well disguised portal that leads to the Ministry of Stories which has been architectured and designed in the smallest detail to feel really special and it certainly looks special.

The Ministry has already held numerous workshops which monsters both locally and from afar have given their thumbs up. The BBC themselves were suitably impressed and the journalist from The Guardian gave a glowing report. But let’s be honest – would you dare write a bad review on a monster supply shop? – not me!

So if you have some monsters lying around who need a little inspiration or a creative outlet to create the next Harry Potter then you really should rush down to this place…I’m going to kidnap my niece and nephew (aged 9 and 11) whilst they’re sleeping and leave my twins in their beds so their parents won’t realise, that’ll get me my ticket into the Ministry of Stories. How are you going to get in?

I confess to stealing each and every single photo from the We Made This blog and I am now on a 24/7 monster watch. Aaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh


  1. February 17, 2011 / 11:51 AM

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I’m sure the kids love it. I’m short…maybe I could sneak in…

  2. February 17, 2011 / 1:07 PM

    I’m afraid we live a bit too far away but sounds like a wonderful thing!

  3. JDaniel4's Mom
    February 17, 2011 / 3:05 PM

    This sounds wonderful. I am so glad they support writing.

  4. Michelloui
    February 17, 2011 / 3:17 PM

    What an excellent idea! I loved this post.

    PS Dont forget to check under your bed ;)

    • February 18, 2011 / 10:36 PM

      :) Thanks for the tip!

  5. Cheryl
    February 17, 2011 / 3:44 PM

    This sounds amazing.

  6. February 17, 2011 / 5:25 PM

    I wish such a thing were available to my grandchildren. What a great idea!


    • February 18, 2011 / 10:23 PM

      It may be, there are 9 over the states, check the site for more info or go online

  7. Donnie (NewBlessingEveryday)
    February 17, 2011 / 7:59 PM

    That sounds wonderful.

    • February 18, 2011 / 10:18 PM

      I agree with you – I’m hooked and planning my frist trip

  8. Judie
    February 17, 2011 / 9:02 PM

    It really does sound amazing, Mari!!

    • February 18, 2011 / 10:02 PM

      Ah, a girl after my own heart :)

  9. February 17, 2011 / 8:17 PM

    Well.. I learnt another thing today.. A Monster Shop! Can you believe it?!?


    Love the sound of the Ministry of Stories – how wonderful. Stories are simply too special..

    Thanks for another fab post!


    • February 18, 2011 / 10:10 PM

      Me too, I had prepared something quite different (Stupid! posted on Friday) but at the last minute changed my mind, I’m so happy I want everyone to know about it

  10. February 17, 2011 / 11:39 PM

    A monster shop – very cool! And me?I have TWO 8 year-olds (who are only occasionally monsters). I’m here from Alphabe-Thursday, nice to meet you.

    • February 18, 2011 / 9:52 PM

      Nice to meet you too and you have the perfect ticket to the Ministry of Stories, lucky you!

  11. Su-sieee! Mac
    February 18, 2011 / 9:35 AM

    Thanks for the heads up about the 826 literacy project. I’m going to learn more about it. The monster supplies shop is fantastic and oh so gross. :-)

    • February 18, 2011 / 9:47 PM

      San Francisco has a pirate shop if that’s more your style? :)

  12. victoria
    February 18, 2011 / 1:37 PM

    Happy Alphabe-Thursday…no monsters under my bed =)

  13. February 19, 2011 / 10:30 PM

    I’ve read about this before and am just as intriqued now as I was then.

    I have to admire people who actually try and make a difference in the world.

    What a fun way to go about teaching!

    Thanks for a super link to Alphabe-Thursday’s letter “S”.

    The ‘Organ Marmalade’ jars made me laugh.


  14. February 22, 2011 / 2:17 AM

    powerful message,
    have a lovely evening.

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