Stephanie Hayes - Columnist


Please buckle in for a glamorous journalism biography. I left my job at a mall CD store to work here at 19, distributing faxes and running to Publix to pick up cakes for real reporters. Upon being the last warm body in the office, I got to write actual stories. The rest has been a wonderful journey. I'm now a columnist, writing on the proverbial "lighter side of life" and giving side-eye to Florida. Starting in 2021, my columns will be syndicated worldwide via Creators Syndicate. Before this, I was an editor overseeing arts and culture coverage. As a reporter, I’ve covered local governments, higher education, nightlife, obituaries and performing arts. How's that for variety? I'm a stepmom, fledgling novelist, amateur makeup artist and avid host of parties with too much food. Find me in Dunedin, coolest town in Florida.

  1. A view of the boots worn by Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he speaks at the Heritage Foundation, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, as part of the Mandate for Leadership Series in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
  2. A Christmas display in Fishhawk Ranch on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.
  3. Reporters watch from an off-site hotel as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom engage in a snippy slap fight on the Fox News cable channel Thursday night.
  4. It's sweater season, Tampa Bay. Do you know where your single sweater is?
  5. Columnist Stephanie Hayes and her dad, Bill Hayes, at her wedding at Tampa Theatre on Sept. 4, 2017.
  6. A closer look at the Little Free Library erected by Jenny Wear in her neighborhood park, Westwood Lakes Park, in Tampa.
  7. Have you sat in traffic on the Howard Frankland lately? You're a true Florida friend.
  8. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks', R-Iowa, Triple MMM Tailgate event in Iowa City, Iowa on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.
  9. I like knowing LinkedIn is there as a deeply banal source of content.
  10. Books are on display in a booth during the American Association of School Librarians convention on Thursday at the Tampa Convention Center.
  11. Taylor Swift fans, aka Swifties, have flocked to theaters around the country to see the Eras Tour on the big screen.
  12. A living room is exposed at a third-floor unit at the Harbor Pointe Condominiums on Thursday in Dunedin after tornadoes sliced through portions of the Tampa Bay area early Thursday morning, damaging homes and businesses across the region.
  13. Matt Gaetz, R- Fla., talks with reporters Tuesday after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol.
  14. Peaches the flamingo walks along the shallow waters on the northern tip of the east beach at Fort De Soto Park on Tuesday in Pinellas County. Peaches, who has been solo, probably came from the Yucatán peninsula or Cuba, gliding on the winds of Hurricane Idalia. Peaches was rescued, tagged and released. Her tag number is US02, only the second flamingo to be tagged in the U.S.
  15. A gal on the phone in Silver Springs who does not know the new rules of phone etiquette: Text before calling and don't leave voice mail.
  16. Education commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. speaks as Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on during an event put on by the governor’s office at State Attorney's Office 13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
  17. An artist rendering of the Tampa Bay Rays' proposed stadium design for the Tropicana Field site.
  18. Omelets go out at Himes Breakfast House in Tampa on Thursday, January 12, 2022.
  19. Katie McGill, executive director of Dress for Success Tampa Bay, collects clothing and purse donations at the nonprofit's local storefront in 2012. McGill died Saturday at 62.
  20. A cyclist rides north along the Pinellas trail as it crosses Wilson Street on Aug. 24 in Dunedin. The lane direction markings have been repainted but can still be confusing along portions of the trail through Dunedin.
  21. Residents of the Clearwater Point condo complex on Clearwater Beach spotted a group of flamingos Thursday. They are rare in Tampa Bay. Researchers believe the birds were swept in on the winds of Hurricane Idalia.
  22. A Greek flag floats in the water in front of Costa’s Restaurant as storm surge from Hurricane Idalia floods Athens Street in Tarpon Springs on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.