Nick Hornby launches east London school writing project
Bestselling writer Nick Hornby has started a project to encourage east London school children to read and write more.
The author of Fever Pitch and About A Boy launched the first Ministry of Stories writing workshop at St Monica's RC Primary School in Hoxton.
It is backed by novelists Roddy Doyle and Zadie Smith, who wrote White Teeth.
Mr Hornby said "humour, intrigue and creativity" would be at the heart of the scheme.
It has been funded by the National Lottery and JJ Charitable Trust.
Mr Hornby said: "The aim of the Ministry of Stories has been to create a space where young people can gain free workshops and one-to-one mentoring with writers, artists and teachers.
"The Ministry of Stories is a place to inspire young people and encourage them to engage with story-telling at every level."
Zadie Smith said: "As a kid I got a lot of help from after-school groups.
"I know how important they are to building confidence and nurturing a love of reading and writing outside of the often intimidating atmosphere of a busy urban classroom."
Michelle, a Year Four pupil at St Monica's RC Primary School, said: "At the Ministry of Stories it gave me the courage to write and read more.
"When I held the book in my hand it made me feel independent and older."