Hi, I’m Xandra, heroine in training.

I am a wanderer, a Gryffindor, a Disney princess. Raised in Boston, I followed my dream across the pond to read English at Oxford, home to Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland, and more.

Living abroad taught me to embrace minimalism: the art of conscious simplicity. I believe that less stuff equals more sparkle, and that when we pare down to the bare essentials, we can find who we truly are.

My book, Fashionably Light: Becoming My Own Heroine, recounts this journey into minimalism and heroine-ism. Even though I studied the academic value of literature, what resonates with me most is its emotional value. So I founded Heroine Training to take the process a step further: to train more ladies to be their own heroines as well.

Welcome to Heroine Training headquarters

…where dreams meet reality, where fiction is cherished, where magic is real.Here you will find step-by-step lesson plans with takeaway homework assignments that show you how to embody fictional heroines in the everyday. For the full experience, you can enroll in Blogwarts, or request letters from Jane Austen.

What we do here

It is one thing to curl up with a good book and live vicariously through its heroine. It is another to be a heroine yourself.

Heroines exist in reality, not just within the pages of books. We believe that becoming your own heroine is simply a matter of declaring it.Here we give you the tools, the lessons, and the adventure necessary to living and owning your story.Did you grow up entranced by Narnia, inspired by Disney, utterly consumed by Harry Potter? Perhaps, like I, you were told that these interests were “for fun”, when really, reflecting on my childhood and my choices, the combination of these fictional worlds have shaped my own.Heroine Training embraces fiction as necessary and relevant to reality. It’s for anyone accused of having one’s nose stuck in a book, who wants to prove to the world that such book-consumption is important and empowering.

Ready to Jump In?

Official Bio


Xandra Burns is a writer on a mission to unite fashion and minimalism, fiction and reality. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in English Language & Literature. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on the psychology of empathy in performance. In 2014 she delivered the TEDx talk, “How Harry Potter Saved My Life”.

Her writing has gained recognition from supermodel Tyra Banks and The Guardian‘s Michael Billington, as well as acclaimed bloggers Sarah von BargenCourtney Carver, Gala Darling, Shauna HaiderKat Williams, and Molly Ford.

While at Oxford she was the Editor of Oxford Theatre Review, reviewing plays in Oxford and for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, earning her the Kenneth Tynan Reviewing Prize for best student theatre critic.

Xandra worked as Editorial Assistant to professional blogger Hero Brown at Muddy Stilettos, is style ambassador and writer for sustainable fashion designer Bianca Elgar at Be Unlimited Ltd, and is the face of the Fe-Line Women Frock Swap.

As a child, (Ale)Xandra wrote, directed, and starred in a musical, founded a Shakespearean theatre troupe, and published Harry Potter newspaper The Daily Prophet to a hearty list of email subscribers.

Xandra is from Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her pet dinosaur, Little Guy, her unicorn, Lyra, and her Monkey, Steve.