Counseling & Support: FAQs for Visible Ink Participants

1. What is Visible Ink?

Visible Ink offers Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center patients the opportunity to work individually with a writer, editor, or teacher (“writing coach”) on a writing project of their choice. The program is free of charge and open to all interested patients, regardless of writing level or experience.

2. Who is eligible to be a Visible Ink participant?

Any past or current patient of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center can participate, whether in treatment or not. This includes patients treated at any of our facilities whether on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

3. How do I sign up?

For more information or to sign up, contact team leader Judith Kelman at judith.kelman@gmail.com, kelmanj@mskcc.org, or 212-535-3985.

4. What kind of writing can I do in Visible Ink?

You can work on any creative writing: short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry, memoirs, essays, letters, blogs, screen- or playwriting, etc.

5. Are there restrictions on the type of writing I can do in Visible Ink?

Visible Ink does not support commercial projects such as grants, advertising, corporate reports, or business plans.

6. Can Visible Ink help me publish my work?

Visible Ink is designed to help with writing, not publishing. If your goal is publication, honing your writing skills and producing the best possible work is the critical first step.

7. Does the program offer opportunities for my work to reach a broader audience?

Yes. Each year, Visible Ink produces an anthology of participant work that is submitted for this purpose and meets established criteria for inclusion. The anthology is distributed at an annual event, which features staged readings of selected participant works by a troupe of professional actors.

Visible Ink enjoys a close relationship with Bridges, Memorial Sloan Kettering's survivorship newsletter. Many works by our participants have been featured in this quarterly publication.

8. What happens to writing I do in the program?

Participants retain all rights to their work. Your writing will not be disseminated in any form without your prior written permission. With participant consent, a copy of all written work will be kept in Visible Ink archives.

9. Where are writing sessions held?

Visible Ink has no assigned space. Writing sessions can be conducted in any location conducive to conversation (e.g., a lounge or coffee shop). Writing can also be exchanged and evaluated via e-mail, telephone, or regular mail if face-to-face visits are inconvenient for the participant and/or the volunteer writing coach.

10. Do I need to live locally in order to participate?

No. Our participants can communicate with their volunteer writing coach via phone, regular mail, or e-mail.