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Local Artist Spotlight: Charmaine Calaitzis and The Writers Block

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Frankston Writers Group, The Writers Block

There’s no shortage of great expectations for Frankston scribes, the Writers Block.

The wordsmiths will have their works collected in an anthology thanks to a Professional Development Grant from Frankston City Council.

Charmaine Calaitzis, who applied for the grant on behalf of the group, said it would be used to collate, edit, compose and print current works from members into a collection.

“Having this group publish their works in an anthology benefits their individual careers and benefits the community in the art of writing,” she said.

“Many of the members are retired from their professional lives and find that writing their memoirs, thoughts, poetry and novels is a new way to express their creativity.”

The Writers Block group was formed at Frankston’s Cube 37 venue in 2004 with members sharing pieces in a diverse range of styles including poetry, prose, political essays, performance pieces, memoirs, satire and more.

“We’ve had members in their teens taking their first tentative steps into the world of creative writing and we’ve had members in their 90s proving age is no barrier when it comes to creativity,” Ms Calaitzis said.

“We’ve had all ages in between. We’ve had members for whom English is their second language and they’ve shared stories from their culture. It’s this diversity, the wide, wild and varied lives our members have lived and have yet to live that provide the solid backbone to Writers Block.”

Ms Calaitzis said members were looking forward to the publication of their works in the anthology and the possibility of a launch event.

“All members are extremely grateful to the Council for providing the means to accomplish this as not all members have the wherewithal to publish their own works,” she said.

Frankston Council has significantly expanded its Community and Business Grants program this year to support up to 16 artists and creatives.

This was a result of the $6.434 million Relief and Recovery Package, which the council created to help Frankston City recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arts grants are designed to help artists and those working in creative industries to pursue their passion while delivering culturally important work to the community.

They included Artist Project Grants each up to $4000 for eight artists to develop new works that can be presented online, on location or at a venue when restrictions allow.

There were also a further eight Creative Industries Professional Development Grants, each up to $2500, to support artists via further training, career development activities, mentorships and workshops.

Arts grant recipients must complete their projects by June, 2021.

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