The Writer’s Rock presents:

a panel on writers & social responsibility

An intimate and relaxed evening of conversation and community.

Join us for a panel discussion, followed by a brief Q&A session. Come with thoughts and questions of your own as we investigate important questions as a community of artists and thinkers, such as:

  • As a creator of content, what responsibility does a writer have to their reader/audience?

  • What has been your process in telling a story outside of your own experience? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

  • What advice do you have for writers who feel limited by the restrictions of their own experience?


Event date: June 5, 2019 at 6:30pm

Panel guests:


  • Zena Agha

    • Zena Agha is an Iraqi-Palestinian writer and analyst born in London, currently based in New York. Her work examines immigration, war and life in the diaspora. Zena’s poems have been translated and published internationally and she has performed at universities and festivals around the US, UK and France. She founded Warwick University’s largest poetry collective, Shoot from the Lip, and is currently a Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop. Her writing has been featured on NPR, PRI’s The World, WBGH, El País, Skin Deep and Muftah. She was awarded the Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard University, completing her Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies, followed by a fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Library Innovation Lab. Zena is the US Policy Fellow for Al-Shabaka; The Palestinian Policy Network. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Independent, and The Nation, and media credits include the BBC World Service and BBC Arabic.


  • Sophia Lee

    • Sophia is an author of books for children and young adults. Her first book, What Things Mean, is a young adult novel published by Scholastic Asia (2016). This work won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Awards and is one of the first young adult stories about the Philippines to have been published by Scholastic. What Things Mean was included in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Top 10 Books of 2016.


  • Richard Lopez

    • Richard Lopez is a fiction writer from Queens, New York. His fictions speaks on themes involving race, latinx identity, family dynamics and queerness. He has been published by Beautiful Dreamer Press, The New Engagement and Hypergraphic Press. He is one of the co-creators of Hypergraphic, an LGBT+ writers workshop currently in its second iteration. He is working on both a novel about Puerto Rican families and a collection of soft-magical realism stories.

  • Elizabeth Hess

    • Elizabeth Hess is an actor, playwright, director, arts educator and Artistic Director of The Hess Collective theater company: (produced at La MaMa, Dixon Place, TheaterLab). She has also developed multi-disciplinary projects with The O’Neill Theater Center, NYU, The New Group and The Lark, and is author of ACTING & BEING: Explorations in Embodied Performance (Macmillan in 2017). Her acclaimed solo work has been performed around the globe (Bucharest, Kiel, Stockholm, Prishtina, Berlin, Bath, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Toronto, Yerevan, New York, Off-Broadway and UN Conference on Gender Violence). Other acting credits include work with The New Group, Women’s Project, Irish Rep, MTC and NYTW in New York, as well as an extensive list of regional theaters. TV credits include Clarissa Explains It All; Law & Order; All My Children and Another World. Film credits include: Handsome Harry; Italian Lessons; Buddy & Grace and Soldier’s Heart.