“An author who does not acknowledge
the turmoil of his times
betrays his calling.”

~ Wole Soyinka

Author Bio

Author Heather ShumakerHeather Shumaker is a national speaker on early childhood topics who’s been writing professionally since 1996. She started writing for radio and her publications include New York Post, Organic Gardening, Parenting, Pregnancy, Huffington Post and others.

She's an advocate for free, unstructured play in homes and schools and the author of two books on renegade parenting: It’s OK Not to Share (Tarcher/ Penguin, 2012) and It's OK to Go Up the Slide (Tarcher/Penguin, March 2016). She holds a BA in sociology / anthropology from Swarthmore College and an MS in land resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Heather and familyHer renegade rules were inspired by the philosophy of a unique, unorthodox preschool in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Heather attended the School for Young Children as a child and her mother taught there for forty years.

The environment is one of Heather’s greatest joys and passions. She has an interdisciplinary background in environmental studies and frequently writes about environmental topics. Her upcoming book Saving Arcadia, a Great Lakes conservation adventure story, will be published in March 2017 by Wayne State University Press.

Heather once worked as a milkmaid, sailor, llama trekking guide and fire crew, as well as a garbage worker in Antarctica, at the U.S. South Pole station. She now makes her home in northern Michigan with her husband and two children, where she blogs at Starlighting Mama.

Organic Gardening magazine coverParenting magazine coverSwarthmore College Bulleting magazine coverTraverse magazine cover

Life Stories

LogoHeather is also a life historian, owner and founder of Life Story Trust. She captures oral histories for families, nonprofits and other organizations, and transforms these memories into books. She is the author of several local nonprofit histories including:

  • Aboard the Great Lakes Schoolship — 25-year history of the schooner Inland Seas
  • A Colorful Cast — 40-year history celebrating visual arts and the founding of the Dennos Museum
  • Uncommon Conservation — 40-year history capturing the founding of Grass River Natural Area
  • The Girl with the Violin — Personal life story telling of the founding of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra

Schoolship book coverColorful Cast coverUncommon Conservation book coverGirl with Violin book cover

Life story work includes:
~ Interviews with family matriarchs or patriarchs
~ Celebrating milestone years
~ Personal legacies for families facing terminal illness
~ Capturing organizational memory

Contact Heather to begin your own life story legacy.