Ministry of Stories event at Penguin Random House UK

Penguin Random House UK hosted a brilliant ‘Ministry of Stories Presents…’ evening in April, the first in a series of fundraising events for our charity partner, Ministry of Stories. Three Penguin Random House authors – Sophie Kinsella, Charlie Higson and Laura Dockrill – joined us together with 70 guests including Ministry of Stories supporters, colleagues and members of the public.

Three ‘Junior Ministers’, young writers supported by Ministry of Stories, Selin aged 11, David aged 12 and Nancy aged 9 1/2 were the interviewers for the evening, providing tough, insightful and occasionally left-field questions for our authors including, “What advice would you give to your child characters in your book?” and “If you couldn’t be a writer, what other job would you do?”.

The three authors also read extracts from their books – Finding Audrey (Sophie Kinsella), Darcy Burdock (Laura Dockrill) and The Enemy (Charlie Higson).

From left: Laura Dockrill, Sophie Kinsella, Charlie Higson

We discovered that if they hadn’t been able to be writers, Sophie would have been a primary school teacher (she loves getting messy with paint), Charlie an actor, and Laura wanted to be a granddad (naturally). Charlie also revealed that English and Art were his favourite subjects at school, because you could “make it all up” and he finds it pretty incredible that now “people pay me to make things up”.

David, aged 12, revealed that his favourite tip for getting through a long writing session is a Fanta Fruit Twist, because you “get hyped up on sugar and it twists your brain”. Charlie is apparently planning to adopt the ‘Fanta method’ moving forward.

Laura, on the other hand, prefers eating croissants to see her through a long writing session, as she thinks "their friendly curved shape means they are just made to hug you". Sophie likes to crank up the volume and write along to some high-energy tunes to get her going, as it “makes her brain start dancing around”. 

From left: Junior Ministers David, Nancy and Selin

The night was held to raise money to support Ministry of Stories’ fantastic work to unleash young people’s imaginations through a range of innovative writing programmes and one-to-one mentoring. Penguin Random House UK and Ministry of Stories are working together to help close the ‘creativity gap’ for thousands of young people across the UK.

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