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: 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 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

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

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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