London’s Ministry of Stories: Nick Hornby, Inspired By Dave Eggers, Races To Save Our Imaginations

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Jeff Christensen / Reuters

Jeff Christensen / Reuters

Forget about Hogwart’s “Ministry of Magic”, you can now en-role in Hornby’s “Ministry of Stories.”

Best-selling novelist Nick Hornby is opening a Ministry of Stories in London where big name authors including Zadie Smith and Roddy Doyle will teach children to write creatively. When the ministry opens Friday in East London, children will be lured in by ‘monster supply shop’ – selling “fang floss” and “human snot”, while round the back novelists including Smith, Doyle and Michael Morpurgo will give writing classes to children aged from eight to eighteen. According to Hornby, the Ministry of Stories will be found behind a “secret door” inside “the first shop in the world to supply the daily needs of monsters of all shapes and sizes.” The initiative, funded by the Arts council has even impressed 10 Downing Street, where Prime Minister David Cameron will hold a party to honor Hornby and co. (Read more in Words and Music: Ben Folds and Nick Hornby make and Album.)

The project has been inspired by Dave Eggers, the American author best known for his novel A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, has been reinventing himself as something of a literacy guru for children. In 2002,  Eggers established his “826 Valencia” children’s writing project, opening creative doors to children all across the U.S. including San Francisco, New York and Seattle. Now Hornby, author of High Fidelity and About A Boy plans to create a new nation of young British storytellers who are excited about the endless possibilities of writing. (Learn more in The 2010 TIME 100 Poll.)

What a great idea…As even NewsFeed knows, the most potent muse of all is our own inner child.

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