144: Elevating unheard voices with Rimsha Afzal and Karyn Raynor of The Ink Project

The Ink Project is “a global writers’ liaison that elevates the narrative of underrepresented writers & storytelling.” How do they do that and what does that mean? I’m excited to share this conversation with Rimsha Afzal, the founder and artistic director, and Karyn Raynor, the managing director of The Ink Project.

In this episode, you’ll hear Rimsha and Karyn discuss the mission and impetus for forming The Ink Project and do a deep dive into one of their programs —  The New Voices Program, which is a virtual writing and development seminar. About midway thru our conversation, Rimsha outlines the four bulletin points that are crucial to upholding the mission of The Ink Project and how she and Karyn achieved clarity around their purpose and direction.

This episode is full of encouragement, out of the box thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, program development ideas, and global perspective. Enjoy the episode. 


Rimsha Afzal (she, her, hers), Founder & Artistic Director of The Ink Project, is an actor, playwright, and poet. After a hiatus of not performing due to a lack of artistic opportunity for women of color in her area, she transformed her frustration into the birth of The Ink Project. Through this organization, she curated a writing and development seminar for underrepresented writers and launched a global virtual spoken word & poetry collective titled, “Dear 2020.” She has written a collection of poems under the quintette realm of mental health, nature, culture & identity, self-compassion, and humanity. She stands behind artists who aim to empower and elevate our society by reflecting truthful narratives of marginalized groups. She holds a Master of Arts from Duke University.

Karyn Raynor (she, her, hers, Managing Director of The Ink Project, is a theatre artist, writer, and playwright. She has written two full-length plays, one of which she is currently submitting to festivals around the country for review and staging. Playwriting is her passion, as she loves telling stories through dialogue, especially stories that would otherwise never be heard. She has been with The Ink Project since its inception, and it is her mission to share her love of writing and her experience with others so that more stories may be told by those who will discover the power of their voices through this medium.

Hear Karyn and Rimsha’s work in the Declaration of Love audio anthology!

Agape: Declaration of Love Episode 3 (written by Karyn Raynor!)

Stone Flower: Declaration of Love Episode 4 (starring Rimsha Afzal!)

Transcripts available upon request. Please reach out to artistsoapbox@gmail.com. Thanks.


We are hard at work here in Artist Soapbox land, launching into 2021 with projects a plenty. I’ll share when I’m able, but be assured that much is percolating behind the scenes. In 2021, I am slowing down the podcast episodes, but I still have many to come this year. Please stay subscribed on your podcast platform of choice and follow ASBX on the socials and at artistsoapbox.org so you know as soon as fresh audio goodness drops.

Soapboxers are the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox podcast. Get on the Soapbox with us at Patreon or make a one-time donation via Ko-fi at https://ko-fi.com/artistsoapbox or via PayPal at PayPal.Me/artistsoapbox.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please consider our non-profit Soapbox Audio Collective.


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Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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