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Educational Workshops

Are you a teacher in the elementary or post-secondary school system? Are you looking for a local writer to speak to your students about the writing life? Are you interested in a unique way to inspire incredible writing by your students?

Educational Workshops by Vanessa Shields, owner of Gertrude’s Writing Room, are an exciting, engaging and unique way to teach writing!

Shields has been teaching writing workshops in the school system for over ten years. From poetry to fiction to editing and revision, Shields has a workshop that is perfect for you!


Virtual sessions are now available! All of the sessions/workshops are available virtually.



​Shields will create a writing workshop that caters to your needs, that is based on curriculum or that she’s created herself to inspire and motivate young writers. Discussion of what type of workshop you’d like will happen upon communication with Shields.

Workshop Themes/Genres:

  • Reading & Writing Poetry

  • Fiction Fun

  • Slam Poetry - How to Perform Poetry

  • Poetry Prompts

  • The Importance of Editing & Revision

  • Creativity is Everywhere!

  • How to Write a Scene

  • Story Structure

  • Poetry in Voice Recitation Workshop

  • Social Justice Poetry

  • Math Poetry

  • Science Poetry 

  • Nature Poetry

  • How Books Are Made

  • Publishing - Traditional & Self

How It Works:

Sessional Workshops – book Shields for a single class session to teach any grade writing workshops that fit curriculum or genre-specific writing. -- Cost: $50/session --

Half-day Workshops – book Shields for 1 – 3 workshops sessions in the school. Shields will visit 1-3 classrooms and teach workshops in each class OR teach several classes in the library/auditorium. Half-day Workshops are flexible for teacher’s needs – she can go to classrooms or speak to groups of students in a specific space. -- Cost: $150 --

Full-day Workshops – books Shields for a full-day. Shields will visit however many classes that can fit into a school day. She will go from classroom to classroom or stay in one space, and the classes can come to her. -- Cost: $300 -- 



Ways to Pay

There are several ways to pay Shields for coming to visit your students. She is a member of Poetry In Voice, the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers’ Union of Canada.
Each offers ways to pay or co-pay visiting writers.​

  • Poetry In Voice – Poetry Only – Poetry In Voice pays up to $300 for in-school workshops.

  • League of Canadian Poets Grant – Poetry Only – Grant Application Process – League pays 50% of the cost of workshops.

  • Writers’ Union of Canada – All genres – Grant Application Process – The Union pays 100% of the cost of the workshop – but must be booked at least three months in advance.

  • Parent Councils – Sometimes, there is budget in the Parent Council to pay for visiting writers.

  • Cheque or Cash

Image by Aaron Burden

To book your free meeting with Vanessa Shields call 519-999-2314

or email

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