Hello Philadelphia Wordsmiths,
Welcome to Qwerty Philly! My name is Lori L. Tharps and I am the founder of Qwerty Philly, but more importantly I am a writer. I got my start in journalism, but I’ve published a memoir and a novel. I love personal essays and if you’re nice to me, I might read you some of my poetry. Needless to say, I love words. I love writing. My happy place is the public library. The smell of new books in an indie bookstore makes me swoon. My favorite hobby is reading. If I’m not reading, I’m writing. I spend way too much money on notebooks. Call it a passion or an obsession. Either way, words are my thing.
When I moved to Philadelphia, about ten years ago, the first thing I wanted to do was find my people. You know, other writer folks. But I didn’t know where to find them. I scoured newspapers and alt-weeklies, looked online and on coffee shop bulletin boards. Eventually, I met some lovely women writers in my Mt. Airy neighborhood and
begged invited them to start a writing group with me. But still, I felt like something was missing. I always felt like I heard about some cool literary salon in West Philly the day after it happened, or read about a book signing in Center City a week after the famous author had already left town. And the thing is, the more people I spoke to, the more I realized my failures at trying to connect with Philly’s literary community were not unique.
Philadelphia is home to hundreds of professional and amateur writers, journalists, authors and poets. At last count there were over 60 different literary organizations, 61 branches of the Free Library, 20 indie bookstores, 20 independent publishers and 1 very pretty library bookmobile based here in the City of Brotherly Love. And yet, there isn’t one central resource for all of these word warriors to connect and communicate with one another. And that’s why I decided to create Qwerty Philly.
Qwerty Philly wants to be your one-stop resource for inspiration and information on all things literary in Philadelphia. And please note that we are very inclusive in our definition of literary. Booksellers and bookbinders, publishers and poets, journalists and novelists, librarians and literacy activists, and even the guy who fixes typewriters in a pop-up shop in Mt. Airy are welcomed in the Qwerty Philly community. And we’re not just about providing entertaining and informative content. Oh no, we want to be more than just your #LitFix. At Qwerty Philly, we’re all about supporting this community of wordsmiths, so expect to be invited to Qwerty Philly events and be prepared to take advantage of our unique professional services that will help this community flourish and grow.
So, remember, Qwerty Philly is where the writers are. I’m excited. I hope you are too.