Heidi Kurpiela

I landed my first journalism gig at 16. As a stringer for a weekly newspaper in a sleepy farm community in Upstate New York, my first assignments concerned manure seepage on county roads and vandalism at the town’s summer corn festival. Since then I’ve moved on to more urban pastures. A St. Petersburg resident, I spent the past eight years reporting on the arts and cultural scene on the Gulf Coast of Florida for The Sarasota Observer. My work has appeared in Creative Loafing Tampa, The Huffington Post, The Gulf Coast Business Review, Bay Pop Magazine and the nonfiction book series A Cup of Comfort. My eye for photography grew out of necessity. As a staff writer and editor at The Sarasota Observer, I was required to photograph my subjects. This experience led to wedding and portrait photography – a creative outlet that I find almost as cathartic as writing. I live in a 1940s Florida bungalow with my witty husband, lively son and gregarious puggle. You can follow my misadventures in marriage, motherhood and journalism on my blog, While My Boyfriend Was Sleeping.