Category Archives: Spoken word

Storytellers wanted for astronomy-themed show

Deadline: 28 January 2015 at 17:00

On Wednesday 15th April, Illicit Ink Skyground are running a show at the Royal Observatory as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival called ‘Apollo 21: Lost Among Stars’. The show will be a dramatic story about astronomy told by a diverse group of writers and performers and we’d like you to be one of them!

Skyground background

Illicit Ink Skyground shows mix spoken word and storytelling. They consist of an ensemble cast, with each individual performance an essential component of the overall narrative.

Stories will need to be about 7-12 minutes in length. For this show, pieces must be polished and performed entirely off script, unless the performance genuinely lends itself to notes (e.g. the narrator is a newsreader).

Performers are paid a door split of the takings.

This show, set in the 1970s, will realistically portray the space science of this time. The aim is to go for something sophisticated, possibly dark, but it shouldn’t be serious from start to finish. This show will have a full arc and character possibilities sketched out prior to the first meeting, though changes will be possible.


Skyground is a huge commitment with a few deadlines to hit, and several Saturday meetings in February, March and early April. Performers are asked to attend at least half of the meetings and take part in some discussion online. The final rehearsal is compulsory, and attending at least one of the earlier meetings is strongly encouraged.

Applying to take part

If you’re interested, please get in touch with Babs at for a copy of the full schedule and guidelines. If we haven’t worked with you before, please send us a short video of you performing, either on script or off. We don’t mind if the video quality is bad – a quick phone cam example will do.

R.A Martens Wins Literary Death Match

Many congratulations to the fabulous R A Martens for triumphing at Literary Death Match in Edinburgh on Tuesday. R A, who was representing Illicit Ink, burst through the opening heats with her story The Women of Venus, which she’d previously performed at our space-themed gig, When Words Collide. A close-run battle of Literary Play Your Cards Right against Andrew C Ferguson saw our heroine reign victorious after a nail-biting sudden death tie break.

R A Martens is a writer in Edinburgh and received a new writer’s award from the Scottish Book Trust for 2010/11. She can been found tweeting away at @raarmar.


Websites, events, podcasts and chapbooks

Illicit Ink HQ will be bustling over the next few months. Alongside planning our July event (real name undecided, code name ‘espionage’), we’ve got a few other projects in the works :

  • A new podcast series.  Called Tales from the Script, this podcast includes themed stories and interviews with talented authors. If you’d like to take part, do get in touch. You don’t have to be in Edinburgh – providing you have Skype and a reasonable sound setup. The broadcast date for episode one is Saturday 2nd June.
  • A new website. We’d like to make things a little more engaging. Aside from the podcast, the site will have spanking new content, including author bios, extended galleries, and more interaction with that thing they call social media. The site should be up in August.
  • Special events. As much as we love our regular events, we’re keen to explore new forms.  If you have ideas for new events and/or themes, let us know.
  • Chapbooks. It’s early days but we may as well throw it out there. This will probably happen some time  in the next 3 million years.

In the meantime, we apologise if things seem a little quiet while Illicit Ink HQ undergoes its refurbishment. We’ll still be active on Facebook and Twitter, and you can always reach us at team at illicit ink dot net.