Classes and workshops

Recommended Reading

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~Anaïs Nin

Memoir Writing: Understanding your life through story.

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.  ~Norbet Platt


“The ablest writer is only a gardener first, and then a cook:  his tasks are, carefully to select and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts; and when they are ripe, to dress them, wholesomely, and yet so that they may have a relish.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer.  But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.  ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

The Craft of Writing/Open Writers Workshop: Fiction and more

Introduction to Creative Journaling

Whether you write fiction, poetry, memoir, or creative nonfiction, this course will help students develop stronger writing skills through lecture, exercises, and critique sessions that cross over and embrace different genres. Some writing will be done in class, but students will be encouraged to bring work each week to critique to gain feedback that will help evolve their writing and establish a stronger individual voice as an author. This course is conducted like an MFA critique session, with insightful review of our work to help each of the participating authors to develop a keener sense of how and what to revise and what must be done to forge stronger storytelling skills. Please bring up to 5 pages of work in progress if you would like your work critiqued, or just come to learn from others and get ideas and exercises for new creative challenges.

 Next session begins Winter 2016 and will be posted soon.
$15.00 each session or $60.00 for all six sessions.

Instructor: Ginny East Shaddock: MFA Creative Writing, E-RYT-500 Yoga Instructor.

Recommended Reading


Every few months we offer this free 3 hour workshop. (Suggested donation $15 to support our complimentary tea center and ongoing writing programs are much appreciated.)

This 3 hour workshop introduces the power of journaling for emotional balance and self growth, offering techniques and tools to expand our relationship with the written word as a path to healing and discovering who we are and what we believe. The class will cover a broad overview of key principals of journaling, including addressing issues such as privacy, how to write authentically, and how and why we should explore our honest feelings on the page without fear or feeling censored by others. Creativity, playful discovery, and how to mine nuggets of wisdom that are already within are primary themes, as well as how to keep up the discipline of writing daily and make it a joy to journal.  Great for writers seeking more honesty in their work, or anyone who is interested in finding deeper truths in the story of their lives.

Upcoming free workshop:
Thursday, March 2, 11:00am - 2:00 pm
Sat. March 25, 2:00-5:00 pm

Instructor: Ginny East Shaddock: MFA in Creative writing, E-RYT-500


Recommended reading: The New Diary by Tristine Rainer.

Mondays, 10:30-1:00 
Winter Session 2: Jan. 23 - Feb. 27 2017
Spring Session: March 6 - April 10, 2017

We each have a story to tell and the act of writing about our lives helps us make sense of our  experiences with loved ones, family, careers, community, personal struggles, and most importantly, our inner emotional life. Memoir writing is an act of probing the deeper recesses of our heart and mind to find connections and meaning in the choices we've made and the direction our paths have taken as life unfolds. Whether you want to write memoir for a more poignant understanding of a particular period of your life, to gain deeper awareness of self, to leave reflective stories behind for future generations, or you want to hone your craft to make your story publication-worthy, this course will teach memoir writing from a technical standpoint as well as writing memoir as an act of celebrating life, creativity, and self discovery. Each session will include inspirational exercises and writing prompts to complete after your meeting at Heartwood, but also will include a critique session and feedback for works in progress and/or other writing that students may be doing on their own. Please bring up to 5 pages of any work in process if you would like feedback, or visit our muse page for writing prompts to spur inspiration. You don't need to bring writing but this class format makes the teaching an organic process determined by the work shared and explored as a group.

Suggested donation: $15.00 each session or $60.00 for all six two hour sessions. This class is ongoing, so you may join at any time, but we do work progressively, so consistent attendance will help you progress as a writer.

Recommended reading: ~ Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir by  Elizabeth J Andrew