A photo of writer Heather Debling, a woman with shoulder-length dark blonde hair and green eyes wearing a multi-colour cardigan


Hi. Welcome.
So glad you're here.
I am a writer of fiction and plays, whose work has appeared in The New Quarterly, Room, The Antigonish Review, and Agnes & True. I also work as a teacher and coach, helping writers embrace their unique visions and ways of working.
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Photo of writer and coach Heather Debling
Ripped paper with words write bravely in handwriting
"Heather Debling is the perfect coach. She possesses the insight of a great writer and the tact and grace of a person who genuinely cares about your success. After Penguin Random House published my memoir to critical acclaim, I felt pressure to follow it up with a success. Heather's wise comments, rigorous attention to detail and encyclopedic knowledge of writing tools, blogs and books, books, books were invaluable. She provided the kind of useful, actionable insights that immediately impacted my revision process and helped my book soar. My highest recommendation!"
- Antonio Michael Downing | @johnorpheus
"As a former student of Heather's during an undergraduate creative writing course, I highly recommend working with her. When reviewing my short stories, her thoughtful, in-depth feedback always showed a deep respect and understanding for the story I was trying to tell. I was struggling to create a focused narrative, and ended up trying to do too much within a single short story. Rather than providing prescriptive, rigid edits, Heather asked questions and provided suggestions that caused me to think more deeply about what I really wanted to convey through my writing, which helped to focus my stories. I saw strong, noticeable changes between my workshop drafts and final portfolio, and I have taken Heather's advice with me in all my writing since completing her course."
- Julianna Suderman
"When I came to Heather with a collection of my 20 song ideas and a desire to weave them into a captivating fictional story, she met me where I was at the time: a complete novice who barely knew what the word protagonist meant. Some weeks she’d give me reading assignments but most weeks I came with a stack of questions which she tackled one at a time with honesty and creativity. Today, I have finished my first draft at 103,000 words and I’m excited to begin the edit stage … with her help."
- DARRYL A. EVANS | @darryl.a.evans
"I have never felt safer to be completely myself as person and as a writer than I do when I am working with Heather. Heather always meets me exactly where I am. She knows how to make the writing better while holding space for the writer.  She challenges, nudges the work forward and gives very helpful and clear feedback, without ever losing sight of your needs and vulnerabilities as a person. She is kind, thoughtful, insightful and knowledgeable. You will not find a better coach."
- GADA JANE| @gadajane| @theapocalypseclown
"In 2018, I was writing a very emotionally triggering short play about PTSD, titled 'After the Sirens', as experienced by a first responder. I knew after Heather read my first working draft, she understood the peril of (my) characters' struggle; as Heather's investment and care for my character, immediate. What Heather didn't know, is what I also didn't know at the time; which was: what was the inciting incident that tipped the scales for the character into (her) place of no return...Working with Heather provided me clarity, and gave me the confidence to proceed with both caution and conviction, to delve deeply into dark places, while finding levity and humility in both the writing and the process, a fine balance, given the subject. Heather's warmth, compassion, patience and overall objectivity, helped cradle and ground me, and my work."
- Stacy Gardner| @quillsontheedge
"Your encouragement on the parts of my CNF piece that were working inspired me to keep on believing in the idea of what I wanted to say, as well as how to say it. I am humbled and grateful for the depth and wisdom of your comments. As for the elements of the piece that were not quite working, the questions you posed allowed me to step back and see the writing with fresh eyes - to take it from a raw and exciting idea to a more polished piece that has a chance at publication. Warm, generous and honest are the words that come to mind when I think about working with you. Thank you, Heather!"
- Kathryn Barclay
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