Megan Cannella

Heartland Connection:

Megan Cannella (she/her) is a Midwestern transplant currently living in Nevada. Her debut chapbook, Confrontational Crotch and Other Real Housewives Musings, is out now and available at https://linktr.ee/mcannella. She is an editor at Versification. You can find Megan on Twitter at @megancannella.

Read Megan’s featured poems, I-80 East (publishing 4/12) and tuesday morning (publishing 4/15)

Sara E. Belanger

2021 Short Story Writing Contest Grand Prize Winner

Sara E. Belanger is a fantasy author. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her fiancé, son, and two dogs. Her novel, Imaginary Demons, was published in 2011 and she is currently working on other untold stories.

Catch up with Sara on her website or socials.

Read Sara’s grand prize winning piece, Fly High

Becca Downs

Heartland Connection: Becca is a born and raised Hoosier.

Becca runs a freelance writing and communications business, Spoke City Writing, writes poetry, and is an assistant women’s cross country and track coach at IUPUI. In her free time, Becca enjoys running, hiking, reading, planning epic road trips, and finding all the best donut spots.

Follow Becca on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about Spoke City Writing.

Read Becca’s double feature, Caged-Tiger the Tide Pools & Early Taboos.

Elizabeth Janczyk

Heartland Connection: Many special memories visiting my Grandmother Anne in Parma Heights, Ohio over the years. Especially loved memories visiting Cedar Point and Amish Country in the summer and the custard!

Elizabeth “Libby” lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and two cats. Her debut children’s picture book, OUR HAWAII VACATION, was published by Island Heritage Publishing in June 2020. She is a member of SCBWI and an active CPA.

You can find her on Instagram, her website, and Twitter.

Read Elizabeth’s feature Ma’s Nightgown

Anne H. Putnam

Heartland Connection: I got my BA at Washington University in St Louis.

Anne H Putnam lives in northwest Washington with her husband and their cat. Her first book, Navel Gazing: One Woman’s Quest for a Size Normal, was published by Faber & Faber in the UK in 2013 and her essays have appeared on the popular wedding site A Practical Wedding; she is currently in the final revision stages on her second memoir.

Learn more about Anne and connect with her on Twitter.

Read Anne’s feature, The Illusion of Closure*

TW: Suicidal ideation

Cheney M. Luttich

Heartland Connection: Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. I lived in Saint Louis for 7 years after college and then returned to Nebraska. I now live in Omaha and commute to Lincoln for my job as an English professor.

Cheney Luttich grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she now teaches writing at Southeast Community College. She enjoys pizza, traveling with her husband and daughters, and sitting on the bench overlooking Willa Cather Memorial Prairie. In her free time, you can find her reading books and looking at Instagram posts devoted to nineteenth century clothing.

Read Cheney’s featured prose: The Basin

Krista Legge

Heartland Connection: The Heartland Society.

Krista has always had a passion to write. She has written many different stories over the years but has never pursued getting them published. Working in the field of education has always been her first focus. She has been working the past 18 years with children with special needs. She has Masters’ Degrees in Special Education and Behavior Analysis. She has utilized books for all of her teaching, from academic to social emotional lessons. As a mother of two young children, she finds books as a gateway to opening conversations. Krista has written articles that were shared throughout school districts on Long Island. Throughout her educational career, she has written many stories for her students, but has finally decided to try and get them published, to share with others.

Connect with Krista on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok!

Read Krista’s featured memoir: The Beginning of the End*

*The current featured piece is published in honor of Self Injury Awareness Day (March 1) and contains potentially triggering content with respect to self injury and suicide. Please do not read this piece if you do not have the mental capacity for these topics.

Terri Clifton

Heartland Connection: Tracing her ancestry to America’s colonial past she is fascinated by the stories of the women who went west and birthed a nation.

Terri Clifton’s short stories have been published in more than a dozen anthologies. Her nonfiction memoir A Random Soldier was published in 2007. She was awarded a fellowship for emerging fiction literature by the DDoA in 2013. She has recently completed a novel and a chapbook of poetry. She lives on a historic farm along the Delaware Bay.

Check out her author page on Facebook.

Read Terri’s featured work: Sanctuary Someday

Rachael Llewellyn

Heartland Connection: No but I’d love to visit!

Rachael Llewellyn is an English novelist. Her previous work includes the Red Creek series (Down Red Creek and Impulse Control, both with Sulis International Press), and her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Analogies & Allegories, Tealight Press and Crow & Cross Keys. Her first collection of short fiction, Human Beings, is due for publication with Bear Hill Books in 2020. She is currently a PhD candidate at Swansea University, and is completing her thesis on trauma and memory in folklore.

Connect with her on Twitter.

Read Rachael’s featured work: Slapped*

*TW: Abuse

Melinda Grisco

Heartland Connection: Born and raised in Cincinnati.

Melinda was born in Cincinnati and has lived there over 48 years. She am a Graduate of Antioch Midwest. Melinda has traveled the globe collecting stories.

Connect with her on Facebook.

Read Melinda’s featured work: Horsepen Mountain

Amber Spalding

Heartland Connection: The Heartland Society.

Amber is currently a third year English student at the University of Suffolk. As an avid bookworm, she enjoys all works of literature but is particularly interested in the gothic genre, speculative fiction and philosophy. Outside of her studies, you will usually find Amber in the library, travelling, or taking sunset pictures. After University, she seeks to continue her studies in American and English Literature, exploring how socio-political factors influence the literary canon.

Connect with her on Instagram.

Read Amber’s featured poem: Homesick

Linda McMullen

Heartland Connection: From Wisconsin!

Linda McMullen is a wife, mother, diplomat, and homesick Wisconsinite. Her short stories and the occasional poem have appeared in over seventy literary magazines.

Connect with her on Twitter.

Read Linda’s featured piece: I Know Why the Fox Runs

Billie Daddario

Heartland Connection: My Grandparents had a farm in Kansas until the dust bowl .

Billie studied writing at both Metro State University and Regis University in Denver Colorado. After spending a few years working in the corporate world now she writes full time and walks her Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Katie.

Check out her website.

Read Billie’s featured poem: Zephyr

Grainne O’Brien

Heartland Connection: Just via the people I love and care about who live there.

Gráinne O’Brien is a Limerick City based writer and bookseller. She is one of the thruple that make up the Silver Apples Magazine team and is about to launch Rontu, a consultancy designed to help new children’s authors find their way in the publishing world. She has just finished an interconnected short story collection called Cordially Invited, inspired by the year she went to thirteen weddings.

Keep up with her on Instagram or Twitter and be sure to check out Silver Apple Magazine.

Read Grainne’s feature: The Church

Bethan Rees

Heartland Connection: I fell in love with America when I studied my second year abroad in South Dakota – it’s somewhere I’ve always longed to return and have written about the experience and places I visited so much – especially The Badlands which is the most inspiring places I’ve ever been.

Bethan Rees lives in Swindon, Wiltshire and has appeared in Fly on the Wall, Atrium, Persephone’s Daughters, Domestic Cherry, Amaryllis and Three Drops Press. She currently studies MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, runs Wellbeing Writing groups and can be found sharing wellbeing work on: www.safeandsoundpress.com. Follow them on Twitter for more info.

Connect with her on Twitter.

Read Bethan’s feature: Weathering Her Storm

Erin Rounds

Heartland Connection: None, although I grew up in Hartland, Vermont!

Erin is a public school teacher, published children’s book author, and mother to two adventurous children. She majored in Latin American Studies at Fordham University and has her MA in ed from Antioch New England.

Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Read Erin’s feature: Tadpoles

Shania Kapoor Pride

Heartland Connection: Not directly, but have visited on site visits for work.

Shania Kapoor Pride is a new author and has been a children and families advocate for over 15 years working within government systems and nonprofit organizations. She is an early childhood education professional, passionate about helping young children and families get access to education and resources. She enjoys telling stories to her toddler about patience, acceptance, compassion, and empathy and hopes to spread messages that will inspire and encourage her. A first generation American, she is a strong believer in early childhood education. She received her dual Masters Degree in Education and Counseling from the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education. She grew up in Northern Virginia and currently lives in Philadelphia with her partner, daughter, and Maltese.

Follow her on Twitter.

Read Shania’s feature: Koala and Turtle Become Friends

Gabrielle Pelayo

Heartland Connection: I was born and raised in Illinois and have lived there my whole life.

Gabrielle Pelayo was born in Hoffman Estates, IL and recently graduated from Hoffman Estates High School. She has been passionate about writing ever since elementary school and has developed her writing style over the years. She has submitted her poetry and excerpts from her in-progress novels to many literary magazines and contests and has been featured in HEHS’s literary magazine, Directions, for four years. Besides contributing to the magazine, she was a member of the magazine’s editing team. She has presented her poetry at her high school’s poetry slams, earning top three twice and an honorable mention once. She is also the first place winner of the Schaumburg Library’s Flash Fiction Contest in 2019 and won in the teen category of the Windy City Bull’s 2020 writing contest. Pelayo is now a freshman at Columbia College Chicago, where she is planning to double major in creative writing and acting and minor in voiceover.

Connect with her on Instagram.

Read Gabrielle’s feature: The Play in Playground

Mollie Williamson

Heartland Connection: The Heartland Society.

Mollie Williamson (she/her) attended Saint Mary’s College of California double majoring in Art History and Women’s Studies in 2013. She then received her Master’s in Women’s Studies from the University of Alabama in 2014. Mollie enjoys writing stories based on fairy tales and mythology. Her work has been featured in The Pinkley Press, Toho Journal, Nightingale & Sparrow, White Wall Review, HerStry, Nymphs Publications, and Nitrogen House with more work forthcoming.

Her website is www.molliewilliamson.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Read Mollie’s feature: The Slipper

Tina E. Anton

Heartland Connection: I moved to Ohio ten years ago and thoroughly enjoy the mid-west sense of community that I have found here.

Tina Anton has been writing short stories and poetry since 2017. She is a graduate of Wright State University. Her work has been published by Weirdyear, Aphelion, Visual Adjectives, and Electric Pulp. She loves spending her free time painting and playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Furiosa.

Connect with Tina on Twitter.

Read Tina’s feature: Yellow Windbreaker

Leah Holbrook Sackett

Heartland Connection: I was born and have remained in St. Louis, Mo.

Leah Holbrook Sackett is a short story writer. Her debut book, Swimming Middle River, was published with REaD Lips Press in 2020. It is available on Amazon and in select bookstores. Additionally, her short story, The Family Blend, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize with Crack the Spine. Leah’s work has won various awards such as: the Gold Award in Art Ascent, Two Sisters Publishing Contest, and she was the  recipient of Institute for Women and Gender Studies: Creative Writing Award.

Over 50 of Leah’s stories have appeared in literary journals. She is an adjunct lecturer in the English department and the Communication & Media department at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. This is where she earned her M.F.A. Leah’s short stories explore journeys toward autonomy and the boundaries placed on the individual by society, family, and self. 

Learn more about her published fiction at LeahHolbrookSackett.website

Read Leah’s feature: Spit On It

Nina Fosati

Heartland Connection: I spent a year as a costume designer in Sioux City, Iowa.

Nina lives with her husband in Eden, which is aptly known as the “The Garden of Western New York.” Her two flufftastic cats rule the house. The Honorable Cattington von Fluffypants is a majestic Maine Coon, and Squeaks is an affectionate tuxedo who routinely reminds Nina to take breaks by stretching across her keyboard. Nina loves portraiture and historic clothing. Beguiled, she regularly posts her favorites on Twitter @NinaFosati.

Recent work has appeared in JMWW Journal, Nightingale + Sparrow, Oye Drum Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, and Disabled Voices Anthology.

Her website is www.NinaFosati.com

Read Nina’s feature: Can’t Walk Away

Melody Heald

Heartland Connection: The Heartland Society.

Melody has been writing all of her life. Reading and writing are her passions and she aspires to have a career that involves writing. Her featured poem personifies the freedom she has sought during her life-long battle with depression.

Read Melody’s feature: Into the Universe

Phyllis Greenberg Houseman

Heartland Connection: I lived and worked in Detroit for over 35 years.

Phyllis Houseman was born in Detroit and received a B.S. from the University of Michigan and her Master of Science Education from Wayne State University. She served in the Peace Corps, Ecuador, and then taught Biology and Physical Science in Detroit and California schools. Phyllis has published award winning novels and short stories.

Visit her Amazon Author Page

Read Phyllis’ feature: A Lesson in Cultural Priorities

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