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Heather Sellers

Heather Sellers is the author of a guide for writers, The Practice of Creative Writing, which is coming out in a fourth edition this fall. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

— From June 2020
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Just This Breath

I can’t see the virus, but I feel its seeds in me. I can’t see my faith, but I feel its seeds in me, too.

June 2020
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Girl Underwater

I was not afraid of alligators or snakes. I swam past them with some vague feeling that I was safer in the water with these creatures than on land with the humans.

February 2019
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

What I Heard

You do not have cramps. That’s invented by women who want attention. We don’t go in for that kind of malingering — that’s what it is. You have cramps because you eat too fast. You don’t chew.

June 2018
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Dark Houses

Gingerly, creeping, my mother drives her “safe” back way home, winding through the subdivisions bordering downtown Orlando, Florida. The little truck doesn’t have air conditioning. I stretch my arm out the window as if I might be able to feel the Spanish moss hanging from the trees like witch hair.

January 2018
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Pedal, Pedal, Pedal

On a bike I have wings and a kingdom. On a bike I’m a taller, stronger, wiser version of myself — the person I wish to be on land. It’s always been this way.

January 2017
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


My mother regularly told me, Heather, if you are ever in danger and I’m not there, make your way to a house with flowers. The flowers show they care and are kind and will help.

It didn’t occur to me until years later that we had not a single bloom in our yard.

April 2016
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

I’ll Never Bother You Again

The night Cole had followed my orders, I couldn’t believe it had worked: my taking the rifle, my telling him no. But I hadn’t discovered a bold, brave part of myself. It was nothing like that. What I’d discovered was that I could pretend to be someone I was not, and that people could be fooled by this, and that this could save my life.

February 2015
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


I feel when he enters the building. I get out of my chair, stand in the doorway of my office in the English department. He comes around the corner. I put my hands on my hips, like a kid, and call down the hallway, “Hey, you!”

May 2013
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Wizard In The Closet

To Jerry, everything was potentially interesting. When parents say, “Pay attention,” they mean, “Know in advance when danger will occur” — which, of course, is impossible. But Jerry showed me how to pay attention; how to look and then say what I had seen, precisely, accurately, truly. Jerry embodied attentiveness. His gift to his students was to pass on this process of attending to the world.

December 2007

No One Said How It Would Be

My mother’s hair turned in two weeks from chestnut, as she called it, to shocking white. “I am shocking white,” she said that morning when I came into the kitchen, awakened by the smell of toast.

April 1996
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