Thanks, book drivers!

A big shout of thanks to all who were able to attend our book drive on 28 February. Generous book lovers took away armfuls of great reading, raising $320 in donations for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Capping off the day, in the shady al fresco area of our generous hosts The Gatehouse Ballarat, was an hour of readings and poetry. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We hope to participate in the ILF’s Great Book Swap in September, so keep your spare books handy!

There are plans afoot for further pop-up Words Out Loud events, so please stay tuned.

John ‘Djinn’ Cosgriff, who came from Castlemaine to read at the Great Book Drive.

Vale Susie Surtees

Friends, I’m sorry to be sharing the news that we have lost a shining talent.

Writer and artist Susie Surtees died suddenly this week, aged 65.

Susie started the Word Banquet group in Ballarat this year, and was a recent attendee at Words Out Loud, reading a wonderfully entertaining piece.

It took only one meeting with Susie to know her as a woman of intellect and energy, and we at Words Out Loud feel the loss of being denied the opportunity to get to know her better creatively and as a beautiful human being.

I’m sure our WOL community will join with me in offering our condolences to Susie’s family and friends. Her daughter, Jane, has left a lovely tribute on Susie’s Facebook page, which illuminates the vivid life Susie led and the lives she touched.

Jane asks in her post that people set a place at the table for Susie, and we will do just that at August’s Words Out Loud in tribute to a friend well met and too soon departed.

– Jason Nahrung