Heather Aruffo is a first generation Mexican- American writer based in Alaska. In 2021, she was awarded the Pen/Robert J Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Her work has appeared in Best Debut Short Stories 2021, The Southern Review and The Laurel Review, and has received support from the Fulbright Association, StoryKnife, the Rona Jaffee Foundation and Breadloaf. She holds an ScB in Chemistry from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She works as a regulatory medical writer in her day job and is at work on an essay collection and a novel.
My work lies at the intersection of science, history, medicine, economics and policy, and the effect of these greater forces on individual lives and relationships. I have a scientist’s brain and a writer’s heart; I seek to tell stories that are gripping and moving, but that also speak to greater societal issues. I believe that the story of a single person or character has the power to speak to greater themes. Through research and empathy, I hope to create art that speaks to the human condition while also inspiring critical thinking and change. I come from an immigrant family with varied roots and have lived across the globe, from Switzerland to Mongolia, which brings a global perspective to my work. I’m always looking out for new experiences, and believe that exposing myself to new ideas and perspectives is essential to creating meaningful storytelling.