Invite me to share my passion for the written word! In-person or virtually.

Vanessa presenting at Sleuth of Baker Street Bookstore


I have spoken about the power of storytelling at writing organizations, such as Sisters in Crime, universities, schools and libraries. Below are some examples of talks I give to readers and writers, based on my own experiences as an avid crime fiction reader, novelist and teacher.

To inquire about my rates and availability, send me an e-mail.

Options include:

  • Writing Mysteries
  • Delectable Mysteries: Food in Crime Fiction
  • Escapist Reads: The Lasting Appeal of Crime Fiction
  • A Sense of Place: Setting in Cozy Mysteries
  • How to Read Like a Writer

Writing Workshops

Unlock your imagination.

Ready to take your writing to the next level? Want to write but don’t know how?

My workshops are designed with fun in mind. Storytelling is, after all, about entertainment. Participants — from beginners to advanced writers — learn how to craft stories, via discussion questions that emphasise the power of brainstorming and writing prompts that ignite creativity.

Options include:

  • where to find inspiration
  • how to craft characters that walk off the page
  • how to write dialogue that sings
  • how to write active setting
  • how to hook the reader with conflict
  • how to silence the inner critic

Book Clubs

Book clubs are a joy to visit. I love connecting to readers, sharing insights into my creative process and answering questions about my books!

To invite me to speak with your book club over Zoom, send me an e-mail or inquire below.


The Asphodel-Norwood Public Library was thrilled with the response to the four week Creative Writing Workshop hosted by Vanessa Westermann. Vanessa created a welcoming and safe space for participants to learn and express their creativity. Her expertise allowed us to provide this intergenerational learning opportunity in our rural community. 100% of the participants who provided feedback would participate in a future workshop. This session was a huge success!

Trish Reed, CEO/Librarian

Vanessa charmed the dozen people at the [library’s book club] meeting with her bright energy and constant smile. Her love of the Kawarthas and cottage life shines through in her mystery and in her joy in talking about the book and the creative path she followed writing it.

Paul Stevens, reporter for the Havelock Rail

One of the last things Vanessa said to us was something along the lines of having to read a lot, and use everyday experiences to nourish your writing, which really resonated with me. I feel like a dead plant after neglecting my writing for so long while raising my kids, she made me feel like I didn’t lose something rather I just have to nourish it to get it back. She made something I thought was unattainable now within reach. In only two sessions. She’s a great teacher!

Joi, workshop participant