Join our September Classes

This is your invitation to join a Heartspace Transformative Writing™ class

Learning that Changes Lives

Breathe new life into your writing and your relationships

Join a light-hearted circle of writers who support one another’s courage and writing

  • Each week explore creative channels and topics to enrich your writing and your life by expanding awareness from fresh perspectives.
  • Give your words new vitality in this safe “no red pens” course.
  • Based on the book Tools of Transformation Infinity Publishing, 2004 by Joanne Klassen

FREE UP YOUR PEN is limited to the first 10 registrants.

Note: If there is enough interest, an afternoon session will be added.

Instructor: Joanne Klassen is founder of Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Life Writing™–Learning that Changes Lives, with centres in North America and Europe. Joanne’s stories appear in the 101 Best Chicken Soup for the Soul Stories; her books have been translated into Greek and Russian. Heartspace writers have published more than 50 books, all Mc Nally-Robinson bestsellers.

Joanne loves paving fresh pathways for life writing.

4 Wednesdays starting September 20, 27, October 4, 11 2017 Time: 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $225.00 plus GST

Special $25 Discount for Returning Students

Location: Osborne Village area, Winnipeg

For information or to Register: Contact Leah Bueckert, Co-Facilitator, at

Visit our new website for a preview Passport

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What is Transformative Life Writing?

What is Transformative Life Writing?

Transformative Life Writing™ brings together the reflective, expressive, healing tradition of personal writing (journal, diary, memoir), and the artistic, creative tradition of literary writing (poetry, short story, novel). It is writing creative non-fiction, based on lived experience.

The textbook for Life Writing for Transformation™ courses is Tools of Transformation, Infinity Publishing 2004 by Joanne Klassen, originator of this process. Transformative Life Writing™ includes 25 tools designed to help writers create an enduring, joyful relationship with writing. Examples of the tools are:

  • Writing Triggers to spark stories
  • Free-style Writing
  • Mind Mapping to generate & organize story themes
  • Focusing Techniques to stay on track
  • Techniques for quieting the Inner Critic
  • Timed writing to complete stories
  • “A String of Story Pearls” to capture life shaping experiences
  • Feedback that improves writing—without criticism, ever

Four “Creative Channels” strengthened through Transformative Life Writing™:

      1. Moments
      2. Imagination
      3. Memory
      4. Inspiration

“Full Circle” stories include A) What happened? Experiences: emotions, actions B) So what? The significance of the experience

C) Now what? The gift, change/ new awareness

Life-enriching, transformative stories are nurtured in writing circles where encouragement, support, acceptance and guidance are provided. The result is stories that carry the wisdom, experience, and adventures of one generation to the next, and the next.

© Joanne Klassen 5-12-2014 Winnipeg, MB Canada


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A Writing Exercise

A Writing Exercise for February, the Month of Love

Last night was our first new Free Up Your Pen. . .Free Up Your Life, Transformative Life Writing class for the month of February. To dive into the topic of love, we took an imaginary journey. Closing the curtain of our eyes and relaxing into the…

via A Writing Exercise for February, Month of Love — Free Up Your Pen. . . Free Up Your Life

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Friday Fun – How to keep writing during turmoil

Check out this blog for many perspectives on the journey of writing.

Live to Write - Write to Live

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.


It’s no secret that writers tend to be sensitive souls. Some of us have already written about how difficult it is to write during chaotic times. Recently, we’ve been hearing from other writers who tell us they are also having difficulty writing when there appears to be so much uncertainty and turmoil surrounding us.

It feels like a betrayal and selfish to isolate ourselves just to write and yet we need to continue writing.

What do you do to keep on writing when things seem to be overwhelming?


wendy-shotWendy Thomas– I recently got an Alexa – that little Amazon hockey puck that sits on your desk and talks to you. She…

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The Sheep, On Christmas Eve

MANY OF YOU may have grown up with ‘story pictures’ in your mind about Jesus, imagining that he was born in a crude stable, like the cardboard ones you can buy as Christmas decorations at Walmart.

But what if I told you there’s more to the story, if you look a little deeper?  As a sheep, I would like you to understand my role at the nativity as more than a passive, fluffy bystander. For me it was a date with destiny.

Please don’t think I am going to give you a boring history lesson, I just want you to have a fuller understanding of what happened near Bethlehem that night, long ago. You’ve probably never heard of the Mishnah (which means repetition). It is the oral record of the laws of the Jewish people that forms the basic textbook of Jewish life and thought, and is considered to be part of the Torah, revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.  It is in the Mishnah that the Midgal Edar is mentioned; the Tower of the Flock. (The Targum is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible (Tanak) which was written during Israel’s seventy year captivity in Babylon. It is written in the language that Jesus, and others at the time of his birth would have spoken.)

Just outside Bethlehem, Midgal Edar, the watch Tower of the Flock was known to Jews as a place where the prophecy of Micah, 800 years before, foretold the birth of the Messiah.

And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.Micah 4:8

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. ~Micah 5:2

The bible tells us in Luke that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, of Judah in the city of David.

Just outside of Bethlehem city, but still within the region commonly known as Bethlehem, there was a place where Passover lambs were kept by specially trained and purified shepherds. The lambs that were born in this “tower of the flock” known as Migdal Edar, were under the watchful eye of the shepherds who would then inspect and either certify them for use as sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem or designate them to be released for common use. The new lambs would even be wrapped in special swaddling clothes once certified, and lay in mangers, or dips in a rock, to keep them safe.

This explains how, when the heavenly host of angels appeared to announce Christ’s birth, the shepherds knew where to go to find the newborn babe — and why the babe being wrapped in swaddling clothes was  a significant clue. It explains why those shepherds were notified as it was their holy calling to certify Passover lambs upon birth.

I hope you don’t think I lack humility, but I want you to know I am not from just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept us were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal, that was to be sacrificed for Passover, had to be, “firstborn male and without blemish,” and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged, or blemished.

Under Rabbinical care, our shepherds strictly maintain a ceremonially clean stable for our birthing place. Our shepherds customarily keep the flock outdoors twenty-four hours a day every day of the year, but bring the ewes in to deliver their lambs where they can be carefully cared for. It was to this place that Joseph took Mary. It was in this special place at “Migdal Edar” that Christ was born near the famous Inn that had no room for them.

In the Christian bible (Luke 2:8-18) scripture tells that there were shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their flock by night. Who were these shepherds? I hope my story helps you to understand that they were special shepherds who were well aware that the Targum hinted, and many of the rabbis taught, that Messiah might well be announced from our “Migdal Edar” at Bethlehem.

The angels only told the shepherds that they would find the Babe wrapped in “swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” There was no need for the angels to give these shepherds directions to the birth place because they already knew. When the angelic announcement came, they knew exactly where to go.

Lucky me. My mother had just given birth to me and we were still in the special birthing space beneath the watch Tower of the Flock when Joseph and Mary arrived. Beside me, the baby Jesus, the long awaited Messiah was born. Just like me, he was wrapped in the softest, purest, snow-white swaddling cloths and laid in a manger, right beside mine, where my mother sat watching.

Like the rest of the world, it is a night we will never forget.

I hope you enjoy knowing a little bit more about the history of my role, as a humble sheep in the nativity. We each have our role to play. I hope you enjoy yours.  I wish blessed holy days, holidays to you all.


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Free Up Your Pen

If you live near Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada you might want to attend the first public Transformative Life Writing course offered in several years, at Mc Nally Robinson Booksellers, Community Classroom, starting Tuesday May 24 7-9:30 p.m. Details appear below.
If you’d prefer an e-course version, just let us know.

Free Up Your Pen!

Whether you have been writing for years or something is holding you back from where you’d like to go next, give your words new wings in safe, hands on, “no red pens” class.

Each week explore a separate creative channel to enrich your writing and your life by entering the realms of MOMENTS, IMAGINATION, MEMORY, and AND INSPIRATION.

Based on the book Tools of Transformation – Write your way to new worlds of possibility in just 5 minutes.  This special offering is limited to 10 people

Instructor Joanne Klassen is founder of Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Life Writing™ with centres in North America and Europe. Her stories appear in the 101 Best Chicken Soup for the Soul Stories; her books have been translated into Greek and Russian.  Joanne’s joy is igniting passion and fresh pathways for life writing.

Dates: Tuesdays May 24, 31, June 7, 14     Time:    7:00 – 9:30 p.m.        Cost:  $225

Place: Mc Nally Robinson, Community Classroom, Grant Park Shopping Centre

Register in advance: or by phone at 204-475-0483 or in person at McNally Robinson Booksellers 1120 Grant Avenue in the Grant Park Shopping Centre. All classes take place in the Community Classroom inside McNally Robinson.

Contact: Barb King, Manager of Community Programs, McNally Robinson Booksellers            204-453-0424 ext. 250 

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