Where Writers Write: Heather Stanfill

This week’s writer in the  Where Writers Write series is my dear friend Heather Stanfill. We were MFA buddies who have stayed close since graduating. Enjoy her post, today! And remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com.

Hello all!  My name is Heather Stanfill.  I’m a fiction-writer-in-progress and a freshman English Comp teacher at Malone University.  One of my most prized possessions at the moment is a tee shirt that reads: “I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you for someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top—Your English Professor.”  I have so far resisted the urge to wear it to class.

I write mainly short stories but have been playing with a gob of words that are debating between coalescing into a novel or a novella.  I would love to write humor but find that most of my work turns out quietly tragic with (what I hope are) moments of hope.  If I had to describe my writing style in one word, it would be Midwestern.

I hail from Bolivar, Ohio with my husband David and our adorable but mischievous cat Bandit (he will jump great heights to steal most any people food—bacon, Wendy’s Frosty, sour cream, the list goes on).  Besides writing, I’m also passionate about scuba diving, gardening, traveling, cooking, scrapbooking, my church, and of course reading.

Thank you, Kristin, for allowing me a spot on your blog!  It’s a pleasure.

What is your writing space like?

I have a desk that was once my dad’s and has followed me through my childhood with many coats of paint (from a plain whitewash to pink with roses to black to its current incarnation).  It is currently in my “writing room”/office/spare bedroom/storage room.  The space’s multi-purposeness and lack of direct sunlight has led me to become a nomadic writer.  Thank goodness for laptops.  I find myself most often writing on our living room couch and in various empty rooms on Malone’s campus.

Do you keep a writing routine?  If so, what is your routine?

 Currently, I am in the process of attempting to establish a routine.  On mornings when I am not deliriously tired, I try to arrive at work early, find an empty classroom, and write until I have to teach.  This has been most productive.  Otherwise, I fit in my writing between grading papers and typical house chores.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

I love my desk in my writing room.  I decoupaged the top with quotes about creativity printed on an Old-World-looking parchment paper.  I also enjoy my British décor.  Someday I will manage to mount my British flag on a canvas and hang it on the blank wall in my space.

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

I had the privilege of staying at a friend of a friend’s lodge on Squam Lake in New Hampshire.  My ideal writing space would be a small cabin with a screened-in porch and an open porch perched on the edge of that lake.  The place is wild in the best possible ways.  The sounds of the lake water lapping on the rocky shoreline and the eerie loon calls are both calming and inspiring.  And when it rains, the woods give off a mossy, fresh smell that’s intoxicating.

Of course, that’s only in the summer.  In the winter months, give me a cabana on a beach with a palm tree for shade and a cooler of cold beer.

Heather Stanfill is a graduate of Lesley University’s MFA program.  She resides in northeastern Ohio, writes when she can, and spends the rest of her time keeping her husband, cat, and English Comp students in line.


3 thoughts on “Where Writers Write: Heather Stanfill”

    1. Dear Heather;

      I read your piece on “Epistolary Writing” and found my writing style. I am a retired Business Management Professor, and present graduate writing student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. I just finished reading (for the second time) Nick Flynn’s “Another B.S. Night in Suck City.” It was required reading but it gave me freedom to write in a style most comfortable to me, although, until yesterday, I did not know what that was. I have tons of material; now I can piece some of it together.

      Thank you,



      1. Judith,

        I’m so pleased that my essay gave you some direction. Thank you for sharing! I hope your writing muses keep with you.



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