Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.


FORMAL, third-person biography:

Léna Roy was raised in New York City, in the cloistered environs of a theological seminary, and survived the extracurricular education provided by Manhattan’s 1980s club scene. Holding a BA in English from Barnard and a MA in Drama Therapy from NYU, Léna has worked as a bartender, an actor, and with at-risk adolescents in  Utah, California, and New York.  

For the past fourteen years, Léna has helped build Writopia Lab in the suburbs of New York City. She is now the Director of Teen Programs. Writopia is a not-for-profit whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking through creative writing to ALL kids and teens. Teaching and empowering others to find and use their own voices is her passion.

Mentoring is the connective tissue in Léna’s life. She descends from a family of writers, including her grandmother, Madeleine L’Engle, who remains her inspiration and touchstone; Léna herself mentors students through her work as an instructor.

Léna is the mother of three young adults, ages 23, 21, and 18, and lives with her husband and their three feline friends, Mocha, Pixie, and Jazz in Westchester County.

Casual, first-person bio:

I grew up in an eclectic atmosphere in New York City, surrounded by artists, writers, priests, and teachers: academia and bohemia commingling to shape me into a seeker of art and spirituality. I am also the product of a generation that had a paralysis of infinite choices in what to do, and who to be.

I have grown up through writing. My grandmother gave me my first journal when I was nine. I still have it: a thin, dark blue leather-bound book. A book to be taken seriously. I have kept a journal by my bedside and in my purse ever since. The practice has helped shape who I am and how I think and I have often joked that it has been my one and only discipline.

So yes, I always wrote, yet did not take myself or my writing very seriously for a very long time.

I wrote through my school years, where I also fell in love with acting. I wrote short stories and lots of angsty poetry while studying English and Italian literature at Barnard College. I wrote monologues and performance pieces while I bartended and acted some more. I wrote while pursuing a Masters's degree in Drama Therapy from NYU.

Then I found my comfort zone working with teens, and at the age of thirty-five finally gave myself permission to work on a long piece of fiction. I dared to dream of being a "writer". I did not write with an audience in mind, but it's no wonder that when I started EDGES, the teen voices shone through.

Now I live and breathe being a Writopian and creating a community of young writers. A big coup for me has been being nationally recognized as a writing teacher by the Scholastic Writing Awards every year since 2014!

Read and write on!