Heidi Fettig Parton was once an 11-year-old who wanted to be an author, like Madeleine L’Engle or Judy Blume. In the pressure cooker of growing up, she shuffled her writing dreams to the bottom of the deck.

After earning a BA (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) in English at age 21, Heidi went on to get her Juris Doctorate (with distinction and Order of the Coif), both from the University of North Dakota (graduating as Heidi Hellekson) at 24. Before a midlife career shift in 2009, brought on by the birth of her third child (and second marriage), Heidi spent 15 years careering, first as a lawyer, and then in legal academic publishing.

Writing remained something Heidi hoped to do someday. Then, in 2014, Heidi returned to graduate school and, three years later, earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bay Path University, where she honed her writing skills and learned the business side of literary publishing.

Heidi’s proudest writing moment (to date) came in January of 2023, when Brevity nominated her essay “The Once Wife” for Best American Essays 2023. Her writing can be found in many publications, including Angels Flight literary west, Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, Entropy, Forge Literary, Fugue Journal, the Her Path Forward anthology, Multiplicity Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Saint Paul Almanac, Sweet Lit and The Manifest-Station.

When she’s not essaying, Heidi is writing a novel set in the early 2000s about a woman who discovers her mettle in the fires of divorce.

In time set aside for self-nurturance, Heidi practices yin yoga, and studies Irish mandolin and the Bodhrán at the Center for Irish Music. She makes time to walk outdoor labyrinths and to hike the dedicated natural spaces in and around the Twin Cities metro. Heidi regularly hugs trees and listens for their ancient wisdom. She is grateful for the many excellent podcasts that keep her company during her frequent bouts of menopausal insomnia.

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