Who are Illicit Ink?

Illicit Ink are a group of writers and performers who run awesome spoken word shows. Every month we gather to champion the strange, the beautiful, and the ever-so-slightly sinister in our two alternating events, Underground and Skyground.

Illicit Ink Underground

Our bimonthly Underground shows host line-ups of new and not-so-new writers, exploring a single theme in keeping with Illicit Ink’s rip-roaring spirit of experimentation. Dark, dangerous, and in keeping with our roots in the Edinburgh spoken word scene, they take place at The Bongo Club.

Illicit Ink Skyground

Skyground events happen bimonthly in the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Netherbow Theatre. Each show is written from scratch in collaboration between writers, comedians and musicians. Fiendishly devised so that each story tells part of the whole, no other spoken word night goes to such great lengths to tell such a big story.

Past Events

We’ve been going since 2011 and have produced gigs on topics as diverse as sleep, space, time and murder. We’ve also had a number of successful appearances at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.


We’re a cuddly bunch and provide feedback, editing, and any other support needed to our writers. We routinely have open spots for new performers, so feel free to contact us if you want to be involved.

Get in Touch

Would you like to perform a story with us? Or do you want to give us a few hours of your time? Get in touch! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Credit and thanks to Silvia Barlaam for the Illicit Ink logo (including the Twitter variation), to John MacDonald for the Illicit Inkwell and Barbara Melville for the web design and flyers.