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Gertrude's Writing Room is committed to building community one gathering at a time. Our mission is 'mobile' - creating opportunities for creative gatherings in various locations.  

Keep connected via our newsletters! If you don't receive them already, please email Vanessa and let her know you'd like to be added to the email list. 

Thank you!

shieldsvanessa@gmail.com

Colourful Pile of Old Books

2024

WRITERS'
ASSEMBLY

Gertrude’s Writing Room in partnership with Balanced Life Wellness Centre is proud to present a unique writing group that brings together our favourite things about writing: inspiration, exchange and writing! This monthly, three-hour writing opportunity offers writers a safe, comfortable, accessible and inspiring space in which to flex their creative writing souls. We gather one Sunday each month.

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*NEW BUSINESS 2024*
REGISTRATION NEEDED FOR EACH GATHERING!

Due to the incredible response to our gatherings, we are asking for writers to register for the workshops. Maximum 10 writers per workshop. 

If you choose not to participate in the workshop, you can still come and write in the space and/or share an exchange with a writer. 

WRITERS' ASSEMBLEY

2024

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LOCATION

We meet at the Balanced Life Wellness Centre in Essex. It's a big, beautiful blue house! 

Address:

114 Talbot Street North, Essex

*Please note: North Talbot is not the correct street! 

The Balanced Life Wellness Centre is fully accessible. Parking is available for free on the street. 

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WorkshopS

SUN. APRIL 14, 2024 -
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT - SOLD OUT

SUN. MAY 19, 2024 
DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE -
 SOLD OUT! 

SUN. JUNE 23, 2024 -
POETRY -
SOLD OUT

WE ARE CURRENTLY PLANNING OUR SUMMER SESSIONS. MORE TO COME! 

PLEASE REGISTER AHEAD VIA EMAIL:

shieldsvanessa@gmail.com

COST: $25.00 pay cash on the day or e-transfer to shieldsvanessa@gmail.com

*Virtual sessions may occur if there is inclement weather.*

Writers are welcome to any of the following experiences! 

 

THREE-HOUR FREE WRITE

The Writers’ Assembly is a three-hour long writing opportunity. Writers can use the entire three-hour session to work on their writing project, choosing a comfortable place to write for the full duration of the gathering. Enjoy a cuppa joe, free wi-fi, and various locations in the house to choose from in which to write. Writers should bring their own writing tools: laptop, paper, pens, etc.. If you and a writing partner(s) would like to use the time to exchange writing feedback, you can use this space and time to do so as well!

FIRST-HOUR WRITING WORKSHOP (1pm – 2pm) – INSPIRE!

For the first hour, Vanessa Shields will lead a writing prompt/workshop and/or welcome a guest writer will lead a prompt/workshop. Prompts/workshops will shift across genres, and will include a short lesson on writing craft, the prompt, a timed writing session, and an opportunity to share.

SECOND-HOUR SHARING OPPORTUNITY (2pm – 3pm) – EXCHANGE!

Writers will have the opportunity to pair off for a shared feedback session and/or have a group conversation about what they’re working on and/or request feedback. This exchange between writers will happen organically. Writers will not have to pre-read someone else’s writing or have to offer feedback if they do not want to. If you would like to share a piece of your work, please bring a printed out copy to share. We understand that sharing work is an integral part of the writing process so we are open to giving writers an opportunity to share in pairs or small groups. If you and a writing partner would like to use the full session for an ‘exchange’, please be mindful of voice levels.

THIRD-HOUR WRITING (3pm-4pm) – WRITE!

Our final hour together will be used to write, write, write! We know how difficult it is to ‘fit’ writing into daily life, so we want to offer distraction-free writing time for writers. Writers can work on personal projects, continue working on the prompt/workshop, do research, read…whatever part in the creative writing process is in need of attention.

PAYMENT

We are asking for $25.00 per visit or a ‘love’ donation (pay-what-you-can). Monies collected will be used to cover food, beverages, space usage and workshop teachers. We will pay attention to the cost and listen to your feedback. We want to keep this writing opportunity accessible and on-going!

FOOD ALLERGIES

If you have food allergies/concerns, please let us know via email BEFORE you come so we can make necessary amendments to food/beverages. (email Vanessa at shieldsvanessa@gmail.com)

ACCESSIBILITY

The Balanced Life Wellness Centre is fully accessible.

HOW IT WORKS! 

PLEASE REGISTER TO JOIN US! 

EMAIL VANESSA: shieldsvanessa@gmail.com.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE EMAIL VANESSA AND/OR CALL MICHELLE ANYTIME!

Vanessa - shieldsvanessa@gmail.com

Michelle - 519-817-2993

Yellow Flower

SHIFTING SPACES

Gertrude's Writing Room is finding new and exciting ways to share space, time, creativity and love. Like our new relationship with the Balanced Life Wellness Centre, we will continue to make connections, build community and spread love in the flow of change. Thank you for your continued support!  

CHANGE IS NECESSARY

A love letter...

Dearest Gertrude's Writing Room family,
 

It is with a heavy but bursting-with-love heart that I share the news that we will be closing the writing room. Indeed, it has taken months of soul-searching and heart navigating (not to mention uncountable tears) to make the decision to pack up and close this fairytale-esque, creatively-driven space. It has been an honour and a privilege to create and share this space with you for nearly five years. Though we had our humble beginnings at a different location, this gem-in-the park space was our home for nearly three years. We managed with love and patience and dedication through lockdowns. This year, we experienced the incredible adventure that was Art in the Park.

 

We've hosted amazing workshops, dynamic classes, extraordinary collaborations, poetry circles, write-ins and creativity events. Many a creative dream has begun or been cultivated in this beautiful space. Certainly millions of words have been written and read in our little writing room. We could not have established and thrived in this space without you. Thank you. Thank you to the City of Windsor Culture Department/Willstead Manor for letting us dream and play in this vibrant space. Thank you to writers, local and beyond, for leading workshops and classes that will forever inspire and motivate us. Thank you to those 'I'm not a writer'-writers who showed up time and time again to teach us how to be courageous and write our heart's stories. 

Alas, it is time for a shift in my own dreams. Letting go is a part of change that is, perhaps, the hardest. I weep for the joy and love that has seeped into my heart over the years through every exchange of words, sentences, stanzas, stories and songs. Each of you has imprinted on my writer's soul and I will take you with me into my next dream, into my sabbatical next year, and into the next iteration of Gertrude's Writing Room...whenever and wherever she may be in the future. 

Extra special thanks to Alley Biniarz and Mariette Jones, our Sunlight Staffers who doused the space with unconditional love, motivation, care and bright, beautiful light! 

Super mega thanks to all the teachers and collaborators who've shared their expertise, energy and time with us in this space over the years. It was an honour and a privilege to learn from you and share your love and devotion to creative writing. 

This dream to open a safe, caring, educational, fun, cozy and inspiring space for writers in our community is flickering its flame - for now. Thank you for being a part of our creative family. 

I wish you joy and peace, integrity and curiosity, adventure and whimsy, kindness and love, love, love in your lives. Embrace your creativity and write, write, write. The world needs your words. Each word matters. 

This is not goodbye forever...but a dream shift and creative retreat. Gertrude's Writing Room will find a home again in the future. 

Thank you for being a part of this wild, adventurous dream!
Vanessa 

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WORKSHOPS

Please see above information about our Writers' Assembly. Workshops are offered as part of the monthly gathering!

“Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.”

Virginia Woolf

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Classes

We will not be offering classes at this time. 

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POETRY CIRCLE

Poetry Circle will not be offered at this time. 

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yin writing

Yin writing will not be offered at this time.

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Thank You!

We've loved sharing the space with you!
Our Space is Closed
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Our Namesake

Gertrude
Stein
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