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Members of the Working Writers Group (WWG)

Ann de Forest • Ann’s fiction and nonfiction, as well as her practice as a walking artist, often center on the resonance of place. Her short stories, essays, and poetry have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Found Poetry Review, The Journal, Hotel Amerika, Timber Creek Review, Open City, and PIF, and in Hidden City Daily, where she’s a contributing writer. Ann has documented stories of displacement for Al Bustan: Seeds of Culture, examined the bonds that develop between home health care providers and their patients in the book Healing on the Homefront, and has walked the entire perimeter of Philadelphia with three other artists, initiating an ongoing collaboration to open up new conversations about margins and edges, the power of slow creative practice, and art as collective witness. She is the editor of Ways of Walking (New Door Books, 2022).

Louis Greenstein • Louis ( is the author of the novels The Song of Life (Ars Metaphysica/Sunbury Press) and Mr. Boardwalk (New Door Books). He is also the co-author, with Kate Ferber, of One Child Born, a cabaret based on the music of Laura Nyro, developed at CAP21 and produced by the New York Musical Festival, Boston's American Repertory Theater (Oberon Stage), Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, World Cafe Live (Downstairs), and other venues on the East Coast. His one-act plays, Smoke, Interview with a Scapegoat, and The Convert, are published by Dramatic Publishing and have been produced in the United States and abroad. Louis is the co-author as well of With Albert Einstein, a one-man show about the great scientist. He is the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts playwriting fellowship. His fiction has appeared in Margins Magazine, Philadelphia Stories, Muse Apprentice Guild, and Dream Forge and has been performed in the Writing Aloud series.

Sam Gridley • Sam’s latest book is The Bourgeois Anarchist, a novella issued by Finishing Line Press in 2021. His novels are The Shame of What We Are and The Big Happiness, and he has also published sixty-odd stories and miscellaneous pieces of satire. Links to many of his works can be found at his blog, The News from Gridleyville. The recipient of numerous magazine awards and three fiction fellowships, Sam augments his literary existence by editing and designing books.

Mark Lyons • Mark’s memoir, Homing, was published by New Door Books in 2019. His story collection, Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines, published by Wild River Books, was named a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Awards and an Indie Book of the Year by Kirkus. His fiction has also appeared in Whetstone (J. P. McGrath Memorial Award), Bucks County Writer, Sensations, the Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Piker Press, Wild River Review, and Cleaver and has been read in the Writing Aloud series at Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre Company. He is a recipient of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships for 2003 and 2009 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is co-editor of Espejos y Ventanas / Mirrors and Windows: Oral Histories of Mexican Farmworkers and Their Families, and editor and translator of Dreams and Nightmares / Sueños y Pesadillas, the memoir of a young Guatemalan woman who fled alone to the USA at age 14. He currently works as co-director of The Philadelphia Storytelling Project, in which immigrants produce audio stories about their lives. At the moment Mark has withdrawn from active participation in WWG, but he remains an emeritus member and valued adviser.

Vikram Paralkar • Vikram was born and raised in Mumbai. He is a physician scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, where he treats patients with leukemia and researches the disease. He is the author of the novel Night Theater (Catapult, United States; Serpent's Tail, United Kingdom; HarperCollins, India), which TIME Magazine listed as one of “12 New Books You Should Read.” His first book, The Afflictions, was published in the United States by Lanternfish Press and in India by HarperCollins; subsequently it was translated into Spanish, Italian, and Russian. His website can be found here.

Nathaniel Popkin • Nathaniel Popkin is a nationally recognized writer and editor of fiction and nonfiction, film, criticism, and journalism. He is the author of four books of nonfiction, including To Reach the Spring (New Door Books, 2020). His three novels are Everything Is Borrowed (New Door Books, 2018); The Year of the Return (Open Books, 2019); and Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press), a finalist for the Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year Award. He is the co-editor of an anthology in response to the American political crisis, Who Will Speak for America? (Temple University Press). Popkin has been a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Writer-in-Residence at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia and Jefferson University, and an artist-in-residence at Rivendell Writers Colony in Tennessee and the Gullkistan Center for Creativity in Iceland. The recipient of several Emmy Awards for documentary film writing, he is the writer of the 2018 film documentary Sisters in Freedom, the story of the trailblazing women who crossed racial lines in the fight to end slavery. Popkin is also co-founder of the web magazine Hidden City Daily and has served as the reviews editor of Cleaver Magazine. His literary criticism and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kenyon Review, LitHub, Tablet, Public Books, and Rain Taxi, among many other publications. His website is here.

David Hallock Sanders • David is the author of the novel Busara Road, published by New Door Books and shortlisted as a finalist for the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Prize for a novel-in-progress. His screenplay based on the novel was a semifinalist in the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition. He is a winner of the Third Coast national fiction competition, the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Autobiography Project, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Artists Stipend, and the Dwell/Glass House Haiku Competition; and he was a finalist for Crescent Review’s Renwick-Sumerwell Prize, the SLS International Fiction Contest (twice), and the New Letters National Fiction Award. David’s short fiction has appeared in publications that include Baltimore Review, Bucks County Review, Cleaver Magazine, The Laurel Review, Philly Fiction, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Sycamore Review, Talking Stick Review, The Best of Philadelphia Stories, 2000 Voices, and others. His short plays have been produced by InterAct Theatre Company and Brick Playhouse, and he was the founding director and host of Writing Aloud, InterAct Theatre Company’s “Best of Philly” Award–winning reading series. His screenplay The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms was an official selection for the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards 2022 and the HollyShorts Film Festival 2022. His website is here.

Debra Leigh Scott • Debra is an award-winning writer and playwright. Her collection of short stories, Other Likely Stories, is available from Sowilo Press, and her stories have also appeared in The Oxford American, The Chattahoochee Review, River City, Miranda, TPQ, The Ashen Eye, Adelaide Literary Magazine, and The Abiko Quarterly in Japan. She is the Founding Director of Hidden River Arts, which conducts workshops and literary outreach programs, publishes books, and sponsors literary competitions. Debra is currently writing and co-producing a documentary film, ’Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America. She is also a singer, performing with her singing partner, Jean Brooks, as Cabaret Divas. Debra is currently an emeritus member of WWG. Her website is here.

Miriam Seidel • Miriam is the author of the novel The Speed of Clouds, published by New Door Books. Her short fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in literary-fiction journals and anthologies (including Exquisite Corpse, Washington Square, Asteroid Belt Almanac, and Calyx) as well as in science fiction/fantasy publications, where she writes as Mir Seidel (Into the Ruins, Bourbon Penn, and the anthology Breathe). She wrote the libretto for Violet Fire, an opera about Nikola Tesla with score by Jon Gibson, which had its world premiere in Belgrade, Serbia, and its U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is also the librettist for the opera Judgment of Midas, with score by Kamran Ince, developed with American Opera Projects and premiered in 2013 in Milwaukee. A three-time winner of the Fellowship in Art Criticism from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, she has written extensively on the arts for publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Art in America, and Dance Magazine. She blogs at, and you can find her regal self on Twitter at @Mir_QueenofMars.

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