Book Drive is off

We are sorry to say that with the weather forecast for Sunday being somewhat unkind to books, the decision has been made to cancel the book drive to have been held at the Gatehouse (on 3 April). This is very disappointing indeed, and we’re sorry for those who have been saving their stash of surplus reading to support this venture.

This also brings to an end the planned program for Words Out Loud. Thanks to those who turned up on Sunday for Art Off the Page, and to Midtown Cellars, Everybody Knows Books and the Melbourne Art Book Fair for making it happen.

While we might be running the occasional special event and will continue to help promote spoken word in Ballarat and region through this newsletter and our social media, we are happy to put our energy into other endeavours and let Ballarat Spoken Word take the floor with its fortnightly program of events.

We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received over the five years we ran regular Words Out Loud events. We’ve seen some wonderful performances, got to watch writers grow in skill and confidence, and helped make some connections across the region. Special mention to Garth and Nigel, who made such welcoming homes for us at Babushka and The Printers Room respectively, and Rabbit poetry journal for their support with subscription giveaways.

For the time being, this is us signing off, wishing you all the best in life and art, and looking forward to catching up with our friends in spoken word down the track!

Words Out Loud Book Drive

If you’re going to say ‘never say die’, what better place than a cemetery? Our plan to join the Great Book Swap in support of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation was stymied last year, but the easing of restrictions means we are able to offer a new event in a COVIDSafe fashion.

Thanks to the generous support of The Gatehouse Ballarat, we will be offering books new and secondhand on a ‘pay what you want’ basis, with all money raised going to the ILF. Unfortunately, to comply with COVIDSafe restrictions, people will not be able to bring books to swap on the day.

The book drive will coincide with an open-air open mic series of WOL spoken word. This will be an unthemed event, but please be mindful of the likely audience on a Sunday afternoon in terms of material.

Please note: The Gatehouse will be open for drinks and scrumptious food, as well as offering an array of tasty merchandise.


When and where: Sunday 28 February, at The Gatehouse Ballarat, Ballarat New Cemetery, 1201 Lydiard St.

Book drive: 10am-2pm

WOL Gatehouse Pop-up event: 1-3pm

Register on the day for one of several sessions. Depending on the weather and any further COVID protocols, we may be using a marquee, or may be inside.

COVIDSafe guidelines: Guests will need to sign in either on paper or by QR code for contact-tracing purposes. Hand sanitiser will be available at entry. BYO bags for books. Please bring a face mask to ensure social distancing protocols (1.5m) are maintained. Numbers at the tables will be monitored for this purpose and to ensure a comfortable browsing experience.

People should not attend if unwell, exhibiting symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine.

Note: this event has been registered with the Victorian Government and a COVIDSafe plan lodged.