About Vanessa Shields

Vanessa Shields

The First Person Bio

I was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Though I tried to leave on several occasions (lived six months in Kelowna, British Columbia, and did some serious couch hopping in Toronto), I chose to stay for love and family – and because Windsor is a place to have big dreams and make them come true.

I’ve been writing and reading for as long as I can remember. It’s always been a dream to have a space where people could come to gather to write and talk about writing…and to read and talk about books. I’ve experienced places like this all over the world with different groups of people and, even, sometimes in the solitude of a walk down a cobblestoned street or sitting at my dining room table (like right now as I’m writing this!) in my home after a fat rain fall.

My soul expresses itself best in writing. I know I’m not alone in this feeling, in this important need to communicate with words. Writing is home for my soul outside of my body. Gertrude’s Writing Room is a place for my soul to unleash. I hope that’s what it can be for yours as well.

Know that I am dedicated to giving pages to all the words. Mine. And yours too. So this is the biography bit that tells you that’s who I am as a writer – a friend, an inspiration, a teacher, a hugger, a challenger, a reader, a lasso to wrap around your soul and pull out (gently, of course) those words that need to be expressed. I’ve always felt this way about writing, and I want to share this love of words with you.

The Published Books List

Laughing Through A Second Pregnancy, 2011, Published by Black Moss Press (Out of Stock)

I Am That Woman, 2014, Published by Black Moss Press

Whisky Sour City, 2014, (Editor), Published by Black Moss Press

Look At Her, 2016, Published by Black Moss Press

Because We Have All Lived Here, 2017, (Contributor), Published by Black Moss Press

Writing Awards

December 2017 – Honourable Mention, Prison Wine, Let’s Fly Away – A New Collection of Canadian Poetry, Polar Expression Publishing. pg. 21

January 2016 – Runner-Up, Say AWE, Ultra-Short Poetry Contest, The Ontario Poetry Society

September 2015 – Long-list, Cranberry Tree Press Chapbook Contest, Another Day Bows Down

September 2014 – Judge’s Choice – The Ontario Poetry Society – Sparkle & Shine Contest – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

July 2014 – Judge’s Choice – The Ontario Poetry Society ‘Aroborealis Poetry Prize’ – A Mother Eats Alone In Her Car (Again)

The Writing Resume

The best place to find my most up-to-date resume is HERE.

The Memberships & Learning High Lights

League of Canadian Poets – member, blogger, Feminist Caucus Action Committee Chair & Member

Writers’ Union of Canada – member

Humber School for Writers – Summer Creative Writing Workshop Aluma

Literary Arts Windsor – member

Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA) – member

Institute of Children’s Literature – Writing for Children and Teenagers – Diploma

The Ontario Poetry Society – Member

Grants/Awards Received

January/February 2018 – Recommenders’ Grants, Ontario Arts Council – Brick Books, Palimpsest Press, Kids Can Press

Fall 2016 – Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund, for ‘Mouth Piece Storytelling – Master Mouth Off Event’ – Recipient

Fall 2015 – Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund, for ‘Hangman – Book Two’ – Recipient

Summer 2015 – Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund, for ‘Mouth Piece Storytelling’ – Recipient

2014 – The Odyssey Award – University of Windsor Alumni Affairs

2008 – 2016 Writer’s Reserve, Ontario Arts Council

2010 – Windsor Endowment for the Arts – Emerging Artist–Literary

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