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.

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