History

Inky Fingers is a series of events in Edinburgh for people who love words. We believe in throwing words wide open: we want everyone to be able to create with language and share their work. We care about supporting and encouraging writers and spoken word performers, creative experimentation, building communities of writers working together to create, and putting on fantastic events that celebrate language.

Inky Fingers was founded in October 2010 by Harry Giles and Alice Tarbuck, who began with the simple aim of running open mics and writers’ groups at Edinburgh’s open access arts centre, the Forest Café. The events really took off and audiences grew more rapidly than anyone had expected, so the organisation grew and grew. We began to run special events – like our infamous DFAP Slam – and in August 2011 ran the first Inky Fingers Minifest, a 6-day celebration of spoken word.

In year two, with a stable team of volunteers, we decided to do even more. We continued our regular programme of free events, the open mics and writers groups, but were able to bring in some amazing touring talent to feature, like Paula Varjack and Jon Sands. On top of that, we began collaborating with other organisations to bring our energy and style to new spaces — like running a Friendly Slam for StAnza in October 2011.

Central to year two was developing collaborations with community writers’ groups. In February 2012 we organised a launch event with Craigmillar Writers’ Group, and continued to support their fantastic work throughout the year. We built on this with co-organised events at Prestonpans and Portobello, and these intercommunity events are now central to what we do.

We’re now about to launch our third year o work. We’ve got big ambitions. We will be:

  • Continuing our free core programme of open mics and writers’ groups, back at the Forest Café
  • Adding a regular SPEAKeasy event, where performers can get supportive feedback on each other’s work
  • Hiring our first paid staff member, to co-ordinate our intercommunity work, with projects in Craigmillar, Portobello and Prestonpans
  • Seeking to work with more literary organisations in Edinburgh and further afield, to deliver unique special events
  • Offering professional workshops from our core team of expert writers and performers
  • Planning many more surprises down the line

We look forward to meeting you. Join in.

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