Professor, Director of Creative Writing
Office: CPR 303
Heather Sellers, born and raised in Florida, has been teaching at the college level for over thirty years and is the author of You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: a true story of family, face-blindness, and forgiveness (Riverhead), an O, Oprah book-of-the-month club selection and New York Times Editor’s Choice also featured on Good Morning America, Rachel Ray, NPR's All Things Considered, and Dick Gordon’s The Story. Her essays appear in Tin House, Parade, Reader’s Digest, The Sun, Good Housekeeping, O Magazine, The London Daily Telegraph, Brevity, The New York Times, The Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize LXII, and the Royal Academy Journal of Medicine.
Sellers is also the author of five volumes of poetry: Your Whole Life, Drinking Girls and Their Dresses, The Boys I Borrow, The Present State of the Garden, and Field Notes from the Flood Zone. Recent poems appear in Prairie Schooner, The North American Review, Field, The Bellingham Review, Agni, Gulf Coast Review, and The Sun. Her most recent chapbook is Dive (Yellow Jacket Press). With Elaine Sexton, she is publisher of Combine Books, a hybrid-focused micro-press based in St. Petersburg, Florida and New York, New York.
In 2001, Sellers published Georgia Under Water (Sarabande Books) a collection of linked short stories that won a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers award. She’s written a children’s book, Spike and Cubby’s Ice Cream Island Adventure (Henry Holt), two books on craft, Page after Page and Chapter after Chapter (Writer’s Digest), and a popular textbook for the multi-genre creative writing classroom, The Practice of Creative Writing (Bedford St. Martin’s Macmillan), now out in its fourth edition. The new edition is specifically designed for use in face-to-face and online classrooms, and features hybrid, flash, and experimental writing alongside fundamental training in each of the traditional genres.
At Hope College, where Sellers taught for 18 years, she was awarded professor of the year (by the students), and she delivered a commencement titled “Stay Up Late, Keep the Music Loud, and Make Interesting Choices.” In addition, Sellers has taught creative writing at Florida State University, the University of Texas, San Antonio, and St. Lawrence University. She offers creativity workshops at Kripalu, a yoga center in the Berkshires, and at Esalen in California. She won a university teaching award at the University of South Florida for undergraduate teaching success in 2017 and she won the USF Kosove Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence and Service in 2022.
In the undergraduate creative writing program and in the MFA program at USF, she teaches workshops and craft classes in poetry, memoir, and the essay. She mentors young writers, directs honors students and graduate writers pursuing thesis projects in hybrid forms, poetry, nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, and text and image. “As thesis director, I’m committed to helping writers devise a substantive project that is complex, beautiful, and do-able. I support students in getting started early and dreaming big. We spend a lot of time planning the book, thinking about process, and working out structure.”
In 2022, Dr. Sellers was appointed Director of Creative Writing, serving our tri-campus university at USF.
PhD, Florida State University, Creative Writing
Area of Specialty
Creative writing: non-fiction, memoir, hybrid, text and image, chapbook-making, poetry and micro-essays. Also, story cycles and linked short stories.