The New Voices Program is a playwriting program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The goal of the New Voices Program is to create and ultimately produce more works about the experiences and culture of our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ community by providing meaningful access and opportunities.


About The Ink Project

The New Voices Program is facilitated by The Ink Project. The Ink Project is a global writers’ liaison that elevates the narrative of underrepresented writers & storytelling. The Ink Project’s established experience and connections within this work will help build a strong foundation for participants to continue creating well beyond the length of the program.

Rimsha Afzal
Founder, Artistic Director of The Ink Project

Rimsha Afzal (she, her, hers) 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
Managing Director of The Ink Project

Karyn Raynor (she, her, hers) 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.

About the Program

The New Voices Program aims to promote diversity and equity within the Triangle theatre community by hosting a virtual writing and development seminar. The seminar will be geared toward BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ identifying artists and playwrights with a culminating event during the spring of 2024, in which the cohorts’ work will be presented.

The program will be taught and facilitated by experienced writers and will include several sessions on understanding the art of creative writing, consulting and coaching during the writing process, and a reading series to showcase and workshop each of the original works. 

The seminar portion will consist of an orientation in December 2023 and 10 sessions that will take place between January and June 2024.

The program will be limited to 5-6 participants, which will be selected via the application process below. There is no cost to apply or participate. Each of the chosen participants will be compensated $100 upon the successful completion of the program.

How to Apply

Registration is now closed for the 2024 New Voices Program.

Please note: This opportunity is a space for those who identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+. If you do not identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+, we invite you to check out other opportunities at RLT and The Ink Project.

Questions? Please email TheInkProjectNC@nullgmail.com.

The 2023 Cohort

Meet our 2023 New Voices cohort here! Watch the video of their culminating event held on Wednesday, June 14 on RLT’s Facebook page.

The 2022 Cohort

Meet the talented cohort of New Voices for 2022! Watch the video of their culminating event held on Thursday, May 26 on RLT’s Facebook page: https://fb.watch/hyfnFn7oTB

The Inaugural 2021 Cohort

Click here to meet the talented participants that comprised the New Voices Program’s inaugural cohort in 2020-21. Watch the live video from their culminating event here on RLT’s Facebook page!


Special thanks to our program sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.