Meet a Grubbie: Heather Wells Peterson

GrubStreet runs on coffee, printer ink, and community. This series features just some of the Grubbies who make our community strong. In this edition, meet Grub instructor Heather Wells Peterson. Heather's short fiction and essays have appeared in Subtropics, American Short Fiction, Lit Hub, Bellevue Literary Review, and The Collagist, among others. She is currently submitting her first novel to publishers, and has just finished writing her second.   


What author, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why? 

I'd like to ask Joan Didion so many questions, but I think I'd have to choose Truman Capote because that would be a really fun night.

What's your teaching philosophy? 

Teaching an art is very difficult. I find that exposure to, and close reading of, really good writing by a diverse array of writers in a diverse array of styles can teach through osmosis--the best way to learn to write well is to steep yourself in good writing, and not just the writing you tend to choose to read, but writing that is jarring and different and knocks you out of your safety zone. Other than that, writing, writing, writing--practice is key.

What are you working on right now?

I'm making painstaking edits on my novel. I'm a huge believer in revision, but it can be a slog.

What are you reading?

I'm loving Brit Bennett's The Mothers, and I'm also making my way through Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey. Bennett's book is incredibly well written and beautifully imagined--one of those stories that gets at an event from multiple points of view and points in time. Reufle's collection of essays, based on lectures she's given on poetry and the writing process, is brilliant and inspiring. 

Favorite drink?

Is it too cliché to say whiskey?

What is the strangest place you've ever been?

Is it too cheesy to say in love?

About the Author

GrubWrites is a space for the writing and reading community to share ideas and seek advice, a place where writers at the very beginning of their careers publish alongside established authors. Book lovers, we bring you reviews, recommendations, and conversations with exciting new authors to keep you up to speed on all things lit. Writers, this is your one stop shop for expert craft talk, opinions on how we learn and teach writing, and essential advice about the publishing industry.

Plus, we want to hear from you! Our ongoing call for submissions is open to literary community members of all types and persuasions. We want to hear from students, teachers, authors, readers, editors, agents, publicists, and any devotee of the written word. If you have something to say about writing, reading, the publishing industry, or anything related to the literary world, this is the place to voice it. We’re particularly committed to advocating for a diverse range of voices in the literary marketplace and raising the visibility of writers from under-represented communities.

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