Ginny East Shaddock has a Master’s in Fine Arts in fiction from Lesley University. She has published numerous articles and short stories, and won literary contests for novels, romance fiction, and memoir, winning the Royal Palm Literary Award for both Historical fiction and Memoir. Her latest book, My Million Dollar Donkey, won the New Southerner Literary award for creative non-fiction, as well as the Royal Palm Literary Award. She is also an ERYT-500 yoga teacher, Reiki Master, and she has a BA in Business Management from Eckerd College.

Ginny is the director of Heartwood Retreat Center and the founder of the Heartwood Writers and Artists collective, a community and school that offers retreats, trainings and writing opportunities for ongoing growth and development of writers. Her life has long been a challenge to balance creativity and art with practical wisdom and common sense. This balance provides her with a path to celebrating her own artistic passions, yet also fulfills her desire to be of service to others as she creates and manages an educational institution that serves as a keystone for helping aspiring artists to develop and hone their gifts.


Married to David Shaddock, she is also a gardener, cook, artist, and parent of three beautiful adult children and one grandchild. She enjoys homestead living on her 7 acre retreat site raising chickens, bees, and dabbling in her organic vegetable, citrus and herb gardens for fun. She makes landscaping the retreat center yet another outlet for creative expression.

Soraya Preseault (Resident Spiritual Arts Instructor)

Soraya is an RYT-500 Yoga teacher & Reiki master with an art business called Lotus June, that creates original healing Japa Mala beads for meditation. Her work is available on Etsy as well in boutiques around Sarasota and at Heartwood Yoga. She is deeply involved in spiritual arts, teaching creativity, awareness and meditative crafts at Heartwood Retreat Center. Soraya is director of Bhavana yoga on University Parkway in Sarasota.  

Denver Boskey (Resident Spiritual Arts Instructor)

Denver is an ERYT-500 Yoga teacher and Reiki Master who specializes in meditation and restorative yoga techniques. She is currently in process to become a Massage Therapist. Denver runs two art companies - BuddhaBody, a company that makes organic body and bath products and SilverSiren, a company that makes silver smithed yoga oriented Jewelry. She trained in jewelry design at  Penland School of Crafts, an international center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, 

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Ginny East Shaddock (Resident Writing Teacher)