Fall Update! Restorative Retreats, Educational Workshops and More!

September is here, writers. The wind is blowing in sweet whispers for sweaters, reading socks, and Jane Austen in print or on film. We know. We hear it too.
And you’re not alone in your feelings of between-ness.
We’re here in the in-between with you.
As we do our best to manage expectations around schooling and safety for our family, we accept the challenge that is committing to…well, anything.
We have embraced the new nature that is growing slowly, that is taking our time, that is invigorating new dreams with new social awareness and soul-driven decisions.
So let us share how we’d love to support your fall…your falling into your creative strength and expression this autumn.

First things first – we bought a sofa bed (thank you SBC Starter Company Plus grant money!)! Our theme this autumn is comfort. We’ve rearranged the furniture in the space with 100% comfort and restoration in mind. There are designated places for you to kick off your shoes and curl your toes under you as you sink into a chair or the sofa. We understand that it’s necessary for us to move around and shift writing positions when we’re putting in our creative writing hours, so we’ve added more comfort to the writing room. (Yes, you can totally fall asleep on the sofa bed. Of course you can!)

We are working on creating writing retreats in the space that will enable you to:

  • leave your home to write and read in a new place
  • enjoy unlimited coffee, tea and soul comforting snacks
  • use our extensive library of poetry, fiction, canadiana, local and vintage books for research or pleasure
  • have free, unlimited WiFi
  • receive feedback, creative guidance, prompts or one-to-one, catered-to-your-project support
  • be fed meals for longer stays so all you have to do is write

Retreats will be offered based on hourly rates and packages. We are doing our best to create restorative scenarios that will suit your writing needs and that also follow health and safety regulations.

Gertrude’s Writing Room is committed to having a 100% PPE-driven space. As September unfolds and we go with the flow of the back-to-school season, we will continue to adhere to pandemic health and safety rules. That said, if cases increase, there is a possibility that the space may not be open. However, we’re hoping for the best!


Words Gathered Volume 1 has sold out! Thank you so much to all those who purchased copies of our first annual chapbook. We’re so excited that it was met by such enthusiasm in our community! Don’t worry – we’re printing more! Copies will be for sale in a few weeks (or sooner, we’ll let you know!). Congratulations again to all the contributors.
And…stay tuned….another submission call will be announced soon! 

Owner Vanessa Shields wrote an article about the impact of the pandemic on  Gertrude’s Writing Room for the Windsor Essex Small Business newsletter.

Click here to read the article.

We are still offering our Creativity Guidance, Editing and Mentoring services. As the kids go back to school and our schedules shift into their places for the fall and winter, consider how you can include your creative writing in your life! We are flexible and awaiting your contact!

For information about Creativity Guidance – CLICK HERE!

For information about Editing – CLICK HERE!

For information about Mentoring – CLICK HERE!

Are you a teacher? Do you know a teacher? Vanessa Shields is rarin’ to join you VIRTUALLY in your classroom! Educational workshops are still being offered at little to no cost for the schools! Please visit HERE for information about the workshops Vanessa offers for students of all ages!

Thank you writers! Let’s write together! 


The Gertrude’s Writing Room physical space will be closed up to at least April 6, 2020 to coincide with City of Windsor/provincial and federal guidelines of closure.

Workshops and classes that were scheduled at this time have been postponed until further notice.

We will be updating information and changes as necessary. We are continuing our one-to-one sessions via virtual communication.

Any new information regarding workshops and classes after April 6th, 2020 will be posted. If continued postponements need to occur, writers who have registered for workshops/classes will be notified directly by telephone.

We are in support of our community and country’s efforts to be safe during this time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

May reading and writing continue to be a part of our lives as we weave through this unprecedented human experience. Keep those creative juices flowing!

Much love and good health vibes to you and your families!