NOT even COVID lockdowns could dampen the spirit and creativity of the Bass Coast Writers, a friendly and supportive community writing group.

Gayle Marien, who was president last year, said: “2020 provided some new challenges for the group when restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to abandon our face-to-face meetings.”

“We are a resilient group and so forged ahead, continuing our weekly agenda and sharing members’ written work, comments, news, triumphs and hellos, through recorded readings on YouTube and even welcomed new members on board.

“During this time, the Bass Coast Writers participated in Neighbourhood House Week through the production of public readings for sharing by the Inverloch Community House, and we also shared our COVID-19 experiences in the National Museum Australia – Bridging the Distance project.”

The Bass Coast Writers group was founded in 2003 to support local writers, foster literary creativity, and to promote learning through friendly discussion during the weekly meetings. In 2020, with the assistance of a $1000 community grant from the Bass Coast Shire Council, they produced their 17th anthology and are delighted, following delays necessitated by the pandemic, to present their book to the public. It is titled ‘Waves of Inspiration’.

At the weekly meetings, the president presents members with a theme or prompt which forms the basis of the writing to be shared at the following meeting. The writing can be a story, an essay, a poem, an anecdote, a memory, an article or any other form. The diversity of interpretations of the theme is always a pleasant surprise.

Members’ writings can inform, draw smiles, laughter or tears, inspire, encourage and spark discussion. It is a fun group to which new members are always welcome.

The launch of Waves of Inspiration will be held at the Inverloch Community Hub with an opening address from Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brett Tessari.

Joanne Bowler, senior librarian at the Inverloch Library and Liz Wright, president of the Friends of the Inverloch Library, have both kindly agreed to be guest readers at the launch.

Come along to the Hub at 16 A’Beckett Street, Inverloch, meet some of the authors and be entertained by the readings. Admission to the launch on Monday, March 22, which runs from 6pm to 7.30pm, is free. To conform to COVID-safe plans, bookings are essential and can be made by email to gayleb@ozemail.com.au or by ringing or texting 0414 627 155. The anthology will be available for sale on the evening.