About Qwerty

Team Qwerty

Lori L. Tharps is Chief Creative Officer (CCO) and the founder of Qwerty Philly. She is the author of four books, the mother of three children and a lover of all words. Lori has a day job as an associate professor of journalism at Temple University and she still considers herself a magazine journalist because she adores magazines, but she has been known to write for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Originally from Wisconsin, educated in Massachusetts and New York, Tharps landed in Philadelphia after almost 15 years living in Brooklyn. She didn’t know any other writers when she arrived in Philly, so she hung around coffee shops and introduced herself to random strangers who seemed to be fellow wordsmiths. She started Qwerty Philly so other people wouldn’t have to do the same. To learn more about Lori, please visit her personal website at LoriTharps.com.



Darian Muka is Executive Editor at Qwerty Philly. A graduate of Temple University and graduate student at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, she is also a kickboxing instructor and trainer. She loves telling stories and teaching people new things. One thing that she finds both here at Qwerty Philly and running a team of kickboxing instructors is how much she loves being a catalyst to people achieving their goals.She’s excited to give the Philadelphia literary community a chance to connect and grow together withQwerty Philly at the hub. 



Jess Smith is the Senior Editor at Qwerty Philly. When she’s not dotting i’s and crossing t’s, she serves as a custom publishing editorial assistant at Philadelphia magazine, produces digital sketch comedy at Philly Improv Theater, and writes freelance for Metro newspaper, Reductress, and Above Average. One day, she hopes to work on SNL (but she will also settle for fetching coffee for SNL writers if any of them happen to be reading this.)


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