Anyone over the age of 18 can become an Inkpact writer. All you need is gorgeous handwriting, a passion for writing and lettering, a UK/US bank account (so we can pay you!) and time to dedicate at home to writing letters.
(NB: it normally doesn’t look like this 😉 unless you come to one of our events!)
Will I be an employee if I sign up?
No. You’re a freelancer. This means you must request work from us but can do so as and when you want. We always have jobs coming through (sometimes lots, sometimes less) and as a scribe you can log in to your account to request jobs. You need to be active in requesting the jobs through our online platform.
You will be responsible for your working hours to ensure you meet our deadlines and also are responsible for ensuring you pay the correct tax on your earnings.
What do I need to complete jobs?
When joining the scribe tribe, we ask UK scribes to pay £30 for a ‘scribe kit’ and $35 for US scribes. This contains everything you will need to write cards and means that all scribes are using the same materials and guides that meet the quality guidelines. Once you are signed up we then send out your kit to you. This contains
-an A4 lightpad
-Inkpact lined guidepaper (This allows you to lay the cards on top and write in uniform lines on the lightpad)
-plug and cable for lightpad
-a medium nib fountain pen
-a starter pack of ink
We provide the materials/stationery needed for any jobs you request, the only thing you would need to cover would be any upgraded/replacement materials such as a new pen or lightpad in future and replacement ink cartridges. Every card pays a 3 pence allowance for ink, you can choose to buy refillable bottles of ink or cartridges depending on your preference.
Don’t forget, when you are registered as self employed, any purchases of new equipment or tools would be classes as business expenses and you can offset these in your tax returns.
How do I know when there are jobs available?
When you sign up as writer you’ll have your own log in to the portal where jobs are posted. (See above).
Sign in and update your preferences to receive our SMS notifications whenever a job comes through. Or, if you prefer, you can receive email updates and log in regularly to the platform to check what’s available.
What jobs can I apply for?
As a writer you can make a request for jobs you see available on the platform and/or are notified of. Once jobs become available, an alert is sent to all scribes who are eligible to request it and it is assigned to the first person requesting it.
Please note that by requesting a job you are committing to the deadlines and saying you are available and will complete the job in the deadlines shown and post when required. We operate on a first-come, first-served basis so only request a job if you are sure you’ll be able to complete it. (We know sometimes life gets in the way, so if your circumstances change, please let us know ASAP. We cover this below too.)
How do I apply for a job via the platform?
If you’ve had a text, email or spotted a job online you’d like to write for, just log into your profile and then request the jobs you’d like to be allocated.
You will see exactly how many letters/cards are due to be written for the job, the relevant deadlines and the pay for the entire job when you look in the portal. Once you know these details, you can decide whether you have the time to write the campaign/will be able to post when required.
You will get a notification confirming you’re writing the campaign as soon as you press “I’m interested”. In the case another Scribe has been “faster” than you, the system will also let you know instantly the job has already been allocated.
How much can I earn?
You get paid for every card or letter you write. You MUST mark the campaign as completed in the job portal once you’ve posted the letters. This step is what generates your invoice to ensure you are paid after all your work is accrued. Each month there is a ‘Pay run’ where you will be paid for jobs completed prior to the cut off date for payments that month. Jobs are paid on a monthly basis and an invoice is generated automatically after the quantity that you’ve completed within the month is calculated using the rates displayed below.
All jobs marked as completed by the 1st of each month will be paid on the second Friday of the same month. Any jobs completed after this date, roll over to the next month. You can view and download your invoices under the ‘Invoice management’ tab on the portal and the scribe payment page. You can see how much you’ve earned in your dashboard and download your invoices. These are the payment rates per unit (i.e per card):
A6 = £0.86
A5 = £1.13
A4 = £1.79
US writers you’re looking at $1.12 per small notecard, $1.47 per large notecard and $2.33 per full letter)
As an example, if you write a job of 80 A5 letters, you’ll be earning £90.40 for that job. NB: this is meant to be supplemental income. One of our most prolific writers is retired and spends a lot of time writing and can make between £500 – 800 a month when things are flying, but this is not the rule!)
Your invoices and payments look like this in the portal:
How often can I write?
Everyone in the community leads different lives. We rely on our writers to apply for the jobs they want on the platform. So if you can only write over weekend or university breaks, or if you want to dedicate every morning to it, you’ll request jobs that will fulfil your needs.
Every Scribe will have a task limit (a task is a card/letter plus matching envelope). As a new writer you’ll have a lower task limit which will be increased once we know you can deliver quality work in the deadlines given.
During quieter months where the workload slows down, the task limit also ensures the work is spread as evenly as possible (instead of having one single writer taking all the jobs uploaded).
When we have more jobs than writer applications, we either recruit more writers, or reach out to members specifically to ask them to fill jobs. Feel free to spread the word about Inkpact with your family and friends as well!
What is a frequent/continuous campaign?
We have two types of campaign: one-off campaigns and frequent campaigns.
- Frequent Campaign –> this is a campaign that is recurrent for the client and they’re on a subscription. Meaning the client regularly uploads new recipients (as and when they want) and the text tends to stay the same. The only thing that changes is the name of the recipient (and the address, of course!). The turnaround time for this campaign is 1-2 days, which means writers have a batch of the stationery in stock already and must have the time to be able to pick up and turnaround a job. If you’re assigned to a frequent campaign and know you’ll be on holiday or unable to work on it for some time, just let us know so we can assign it to someone else during that time.
- One-off Campaign –> This is a campaign that is ordered on a one-time-fill basis. You will normally have 3-4 days to complete the job from the moment you receive the required stationery.
Who writes for frequent campaigns?
We currently have a number of continuous clients on contracts with us. These campaigns typically have between one and ten writers assigned to them (depending on the quantity of cards the client need written per month) , who are dedicated to filling those orders when they come through. Those writers, typically, will work on those campaigns on a regular basis and they will have the stationery for that campaign in-stock in their homes. How do you tell? The campaign will have three features:
1. A short deadline of 1-2 days.
2. It will say “I already have the stationery for this job”.
3. These campaigns are the ones with a little gearwheel on the top right corner.
If you see these features it means it is a continuous campaign and is likely already designated for a particular writer team.
Why do the frequent campaigns keep showing up if they're 'allocated'?
The continuous jobs (1-2 day deadlines) will still appear in the ‘new jobs’ section. This is because, although there are writers who tend to write those campaigns and have materials in stock, they don’t belong to one person in particular.
Anyone can request them and every writer has the opportunity to be assigned to them if more writers are needed.
How long does it take to write a campaign?
A new writer will typically be slower than a writer who has had a lot of practice. But you’ll get better and faster with each new campaign. If you enjoy writing the time will fly!
We have three sizes of notecards cards/letters: A6, A5 and A4 (for our American Scribes this translates to small notecard, large notecard and full letter), and of course they all take slightly different times to write. Also, if a notecard/letter has a spelling mistake, is smudged or something isn’t right, we’ll ask you to re-write it (we will always send you spare cards – we know we’re all only human!).
When you are writing you are required to follow the message uploaded onto the platform. Even if you think the message is the same to all the recipients, things may differ. And you should NEVER copy from another card, even if that was previously approved. Always follow the platform’s copy, and if you have any questions/doubts/think there is a mistake. contact scribe support before writing it.
How do the deadlines work?
We have specific deadlines and turnaround times for our clients that writers must be able to stick to when requesting a job.
QA deadline: QA stands for Quality Assurance. This is the latest day by which you must upload your cards onto the portal so that the Inkpact team can review them for quality control.
Postage deadline: normally a day or two after the QA deadline. This is the date when you must post all your cards/letters by, once you have received a notification that they’re good to go! It’s very important that you’re familiar with your local postbox/post office collection times to ensure you don’t miss the deadline! Also, unless specifically asked to, do not post before this deadline.
(Quick note to our potential US Scribes: “post” is our British work for “mail”.)
What do I write with?
You’ll get your writer pack through in the post after you’ve paid for your scribe kit, this is a non-refundable £30 in the UK and $35 in the US. This means that you will have exactly the tools needed to meet the quality guidelines i.e the lightpad and line guide, pen and some starter ink.
In your writer pack you will find all the materials you need to get started. For each NEW campaign you are assigned to, you’ll receive new stationery. This means that you’ll get branded paper/notecards for each new job you do and stamps for posting. Each client can choose a different size of paper and branding options, so you’ll always get new stationery when you write for a new client.
It’s very important that you attach the ruled sheet included in your writer pack to our light pad. This will make your life so much easier as it helps keep you writing in straight lines and allows for continuity across all scribes. If your lines are not straight, we may ask you to rewrite the message.
What happens if I can't finish on time?
You’ll get faster as you progress but we’ve designed this timeframe specifically to allow for the maximum time to write, whilst still keeping our customers happy. Our current writers have no issues getting the work done in that time and our clients are always delighted with our efficiency. If you have a terrible disaster week and can’t get it done, just communicate it to us as soon as you can so we can find an alternative. The most important thing is that you enjoy working with us, are honest about your ability to complete jobs and ask for help where you need – we’re always happy to be in touch with you! Communication is KEY.
I've run out of stationery, what do I do?
If you’ve run out of cards, envelopes etc, contact Scribe Support via the query forms available in our Helpcentre.
We always send more stationery than you’ll need to complete the job to allow you to make a few mistakes and/or for you to practice with. If you think you’ll run out, let us know as soon as you can (before you run out) and the scribe support team will help to find other scribes with spare cards to take over any remaining tasks.
If deadlines are approaching we may need to find a different solution as postal services can have delays, though. Each situation will be handled by the Community Manager, so it’s important you communicate every step of the way.
I live abroad, can I apply?
At the moment we are based only in the UK and the US. In order to write for us, you must have the right to live and work there and be able to have stationery sent to your address.
What is the online community and how do I join?
Our online community is based on Facebook. Everyone who becomes a writer is welcome to join this private group and is invited upon successful application.
On the group we take part in Book Clubs, competitions, giveaways, engage in projects, challenges, connect directly with Inkpact, learn about important updates from the team, communicate our experience and share lessons and learnings. It is great fun and is an engage-as-much-as-you-like community filled with love, laughter and understanding.
I don't have Facebook...
No worries! We respect the need to stay away from social media just as we appreciate it as a tool. We look at Facebook as a social-learning platform, not social media. Engaging on there is an investment of your time in getting to know other members, learning new things and enjoying yourself. If you don’t get any of that from Facebook, that’s cool! We send out monthly updates via email too (via a swanky and awesome newsletter), so you can still stay abreast of changes and you can also attend local events.
I have another question that's not on here...
We love questions! Please do ask us anything.
If you want to know more about the community specifically, if you’ve got a question about jobs, pay, working hours or set-up, just get in touch with scribe support and they will be happy to help!