FAQs for Participants

FAQs for Participants

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1. What is Visible Ink?

The Visible Ink program offers patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering the opportunity to express themselves in writing with the one-on-one support of a volunteer writing mentor. The program is free of charge.

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

Any past or current MSK patient can participate, regardless of writing level or experience. This includes people treated at any of our facilities as an inpatient or an outpatient.

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3. How do I sign up?

For more information or to sign up, please email Visible Ink Director Judith Kelman at judithkelman@icloud.com or call 212-535-3985.

You can also contact Visible Ink administrator Gabriella Brand at brandg@mskcc.org or 212-639-8624.

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

Participants can work on any form of expressive writing, including personal journals, fiction or nonfiction, poetry, memoirs, essays, letters, blog posts, and stage or screenplays.

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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.

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6. Can Visible Ink help me publish my work?

Visible Ink focuses on writing, not publishing. If your goal is publication, honing your writing skills and producing the best possible work is critical.

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

Yes. Each year, Visible Ink produces an anthology of works by participants and selects a number of short pieces to be staged in a live show performed by professional entertainers. All Visible Ink participants are invited — though not required — to submit pieces for the anthology and the performance. A selection committee determines which pieces will be published and/or staged.

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

You retain all rights to your work. Visible Ink won’t share or publish your work in any way without your written consent. We do ask that a copy of all work completed in the program be submitted by you or your mentor for inclusion in our Visible Ink archives, which are maintained as a private record.

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9. Where are writing sessions held?

Visible Ink does not have an assigned space. You and your mentor can meet in any location conducive to conversation, such as a public lounge or a coffee shop, but not in participants’ or mentors’ homes or in the hospital. Writing can also be exchanged and evaluated via email, online chat (Skype or FaceTime), or phone.

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10. Do I need to live in the New York City area in order to participate?

No. Our participants and mentors can communicate via phone, online chat, or email (though not via social media or a public online forum).

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