GUEST BLOG: Creative writing is an essential skill for our children, not a nice-to-have by Ben Payne

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At our launch event for the Ministry of Stories (MoS), held at No 10 Downing Street in November 2010, I overheard the PM, David Cameron, quizzing some of the children that we had brought with us from a Hackney primary school:

 “So, first you go to school and do your lessons; and then you go to Ministry of Stories and have fun. Is that right?”

I couldn’t blame him for asking because, at this point, we’d only been open for four days. When I left MoS, the writing and mentoring centre for children in east London that I founded with Lucy Macnab and the writer, Nick Hornby, a few months ago, I realised the thousands of children we’ve worked with since 2010 taught me a few things about writing and creativity.

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