April edition – call-out for podcast edition

As COVID-19 continues to cast its shade, we’re going online for our editions until we can reconvene by the bar!


We are inviting submissions for our inaugural Words Out Loud Podcast Edition, to be released on the scheduled date of our April outing, April 16.

Our theme for the evening is ‘underneath the radar’, but works composed for our cancelled March edition are also very welcome. Wordsmiths are invited to explore the theme or simply ignore it altogether.

As this is going to be a podcast uploaded to the Words Out Loud website, rather than a more ephemeral live event, we have a few guidelines that we would ask you to follow:

1. Please keep the recordings to 5 minutes or less. We’re not editing these, so if they are too long, they simply won’t be included.

2. You can record in any way you can as long as it produces an MP3 file to send via email (wordsoutloudballarat AT gmail.com). Phone recordings are fine.

3. Please try to keep your material to a (somewhat permissive) PG rating. A bit of swearing here and there is fine, as are subtle adult themes. But if your work is likely to make a 12-year-old cry or wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, then maybe save it for when the live events resume. Editorial discretion will be applied in deciding whether to include pieces in the podcast.

4. You need to either read your own work, or else have permission in writing from the author to read their work (forwarded to us via email).

5. All submissions must be received no later than midnight, Sunday 12 April, 2020. We intend to make the podcast live on Thursday, 16 April, when Words Out Loud was scheduled.

And if you want to include a photo along with your recording, feel free. It can be of yourself, something related to your work, or just an image that reflects these strange news days and how you’re getting through them. We’d love to see what you’re doing with yourselves and might even put some of them up on the website to accompany the podcast. As with recordings, please make sure these are your own work.


By submitting your audio file to wordsoutloudballarat@gmail.com, you are giving consent for the audio to be included in Words Out Loud: The Podcast and published, in full or in part, on the Words Out Loud Ballarat website and promoted on the WOL Facebook page. While all intellectual property rights related to the recording and its contents will remain with the author, you are agreeing to grant Words Out Loud non-exclusive publication rights to the audio recording itself. By submitting the audio file, you are affirming that the copyright of the contents is owned by yourself, or else have included written permission from the copyright holder.

If you submit an image file along with your audio, you are giving consent for the image to be published on the Words Out Loud Ballarat website and promoted on the WOL Facebook page – unless you specifically instruct otherwise. You are also affirming that the copyright of the image is owned by yourself. All intellectual property rights will remain with the image owner.

Keep in touch: at facebook.com/wordsoutloud or join our mailing list.

March Words Out Loud cancelled

We’re sorry to announce that we are not running our scheduled Words Out Loud in Creswick on Thursday March 19.

With developments at the weekend and today (Monday) regarding social distancing and trying to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, we feel this is the responsible thing to do, even though we are well under the federal government’s 500-person mandated threshold.

We deeply regret the disappointment and disruption this decision may cause. We were very much looking forward to playing Odessa and are determined to reschedule an event there as soon as practicable.

The Creswick Harvest Festival has also cancelled its events.

We hope, once COVID-19 has been brought under control and life returns to a semblance of normality, to take Words Out Loud, as mentioned, to Creswick and also Clunes, where the cancellation of the Booktown Festival will be being felt.

At this stage, we hope to be going ahead with April’s scheduled edition on the 16th at our new Ballarat base, but will confirm closer to the date as developments unfold.

Further information about COVID-19 in Australia is available at the federal government website.

Arts practitioners who have lost work or are feeling the strain can get information at I Lost My Gig.

Please take care and be well, and we look forward to being back in action as soon as possible.

Best wishes,

Jason and Kirstyn
WOL co-convenors

We have a home, from April

A teaser for our new venue, beginning April 16.

We are pleased to have been able to find a new home for Words Out Loud’s monthly events in Ballarat, starting from our April 16 edition. But we’re not announcing it officially until this month’s event, our road trip to Creswick! One exciting bit of news at a time, we figure.

The new digs can’t replace the Printers Room, the same way the Printers Room was a different space to Babushka, but the welcome is just as warm and supportive, and we’re confident the new venue will suit us just as well. We’re grateful to have found one so quickly after the Printers Room’s sudden closure and can’t wait to reveal it.

But first, Creswick, which is shaping up to be a great night at Odessa at Leaver’s Hotel on March 19!

Don’t forget, Harvest Festival is on at the same time, with the launch and art festival opening 5-7pm that night at Town Hall and Odessa hosting the Harvest Feast on March 20 ahead of a big weekend of events.

Closure of the Printers Room

printers room, at sebastiaans cafe, lydiard st ballaratFriends, we are sorry to report that our most affable and generous host, Nigel Burgess, has told us today (March 2) that he has not been able to come to terms for a renewed lease on the Printers Room and Sebastiaans and both are closing immediately.

We have put feelers out today to possible other venues and will keep searching for a suitable space in which to continue.

We will keep you informed here, through the newsletter and Facebook about developments.

We wish Nigel and his crew the very best and regret we won’t have the opportunity to see them out in style. They were very good to us indeed and helped WOL build on the solid foundation laid down at Babushka. Two excellent venues with marvellous hosts. Keep your fingers crossed for a third time lucky!

Support for bushfire appeal at January’s WOL

January Words Out Loud posterWords Out Loud will be giving all entry donations from January’s edition to the state bushfire appeal.

There is a number of appeals and a growing list of events supporting the fire fight and recovery efforts, with hot months ahead, so if you can spare some cash, please find the right fit for you to contribute.

Here are the details of the event:

Date: Thursday January 23

Time: doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

Venue: the Printers Room, in the basement of Sebastiaans at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets, Ballarat. Enter from Mair.

Performances: Sign up on the night – a maximum of 5 minutes each.

Eat and drink: The full menu is available, as well as a $20 two-course meal deal, with bar service.

Cost: Free, with a gold coin donation appreciated.

End-of-year break

Rachel O'Neill at Words Out Loud in 2018

Rachel O’Neill at Words Out Loud in 2018

There is no event in December, but we return on January 23 (NOTE: a week later than the usual 3rd Thursday) at the wonderful Printers Room for more spoken word bonhomie.

November’s edition was a tad quieter than usual, but we’re happy to announce that Rachel O’Neill was named ‘most prolific themester’ for the year in a tight field. If you’d like to hit the ground running for the new year, the non-compulsory theme for January is “great southern land”.

2019 was a huge year at Words Out Loud, with several special events adding to the excitement of some action-packed nights at the regular evenings. We’re looking forward to the “They Are Us” collaboration with Soldiers Hill Artist Collective in the new year.

Unfortunately, we’ve had some wobbles with a new sound system that has meant we haven’t been able to post audio from the last couple of editions. We’ll be giving that some thought over the break.

Our gratitude goes to Nigel and his crew at the Printers Room, and everyone who has helped spread the word, taken part and come along to support Ballarat’s spoken word scene. Here’s to a safe and happy summer holiday season.


 Weathering the Future has ended its run at Backspace Gallery.

More than 300 people visited during that time, and some bought art, which was very gratifying!

Thanks to everyone who was able to visit, added to the “Precipice” piece, and left a comment on the wall.

Thanks too to the staff at both galleries who looked after us so well, and to the media and Facebook communities who helped spread the word.

A big thank you to the creative people who contributed to this project, whose energy and enthusiasm were truly inspirational.

This website will continue for some months yet, until digital nature takes its course and it too will weather away. Thank you for visiting!

The future is what we make it. Let’s not stop now.