April edition – call-out for podcast edition

*updated: email address for subs now fixed! We’re sorry if this has frustrated anyone trying to submit*

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 (wolballarat 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.

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.

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.

August audio — breaking the ice

A packed house for the August edition saw a full program that included an ekphrastic piece and a slice of play. “Breaking the ice” proved a popular theme; the heaters were cranked up.

Listen to a selection of August’s Words Out Loud performances

On September 19 we are launching the Snapshot Series, combining photography and spoken word as part of the Ballarat Foto Biennale, but regular open mic slots will be available.


Mick Baker “breaking the ice” at Words Out Loud in August.

July audio — a shot in the dark

We were very pleased to welcome several new faces to the stage at July’s packed edition, and once again many performers targeted the theme for the evening, in this case ‘a shot in the dark’. This was also one of the opening events for the Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, which runs until July 28.

Listen to a selection of July’s Words Out Loud performances

In August we are ‘breaking the ice‘ for our non-compulsory theme, on the 15th.


Alicat reads at July's Words Out  Loud.

Alicat reads at July’s Words Out Loud.


Reading the Lifeline at Words in Winter

If all the world’s a stage, then we’re breaking down the big show into bite-sized acts. Five-minute acts, in fact, each one themed on a decade in a lifetime.

Words Out Loud is thrilled to be presenting Reading the Lifeline: an exquisite corpse as part of the Daylesford Words in Winter festival.

We’ve assigned five writers to each write about a decade in a lifetime, round robin style, but there’s a catch – the last line of each piece must be the first line of the piece that follows, including that of the very last reading.

Join our delvers Rebecca Fletcher, Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Megan Riedl and Zoe Werner as they peel back the layers of human life, a decade at a time, while celebrating the connections between us all.

Reading the Lifeline is on Saturday 17 August at 6pm at the Daylesford Hotel, 2 Burke Square. $5 entry. There will be chapbooks available so you can revisit the exquisite corpse ‘in the flesh’. All welcome.

Snapshot Series at the Ballarat Foto Biennale

Words Out Loud is extremely pleased to have been accepted as a fringe event at the Ballarat Foto Biennale.

The Snapshot Series is a three-event series celebrating the power of photographs to trigger story, whether real or fantastical.

The three events each target a theme, and are headlined by special guests with opportunities for writers, poets and storytellers to also be involved.

We are honoured to have Alicia Sometimes, Jenny Valentish and Jessica Wilkinson lead the charge.

Alicia will headline the Thursday night event on September 19, Windows to the Past, with a theme of history.

Jenny will headline at our Saturday afternoon event on October 5, Mirrors of Ourselves, with a theme of family.

And Jessica will headline the Thursday night event on October 17, Gateways to Elsewhere, with a theme of travel.

All will be held at the Printers Room, cnr of Lydiard and Mair streets, Ballarat. Poets, writers and storytellers are welcome to sign up for the open mic sections at each event, either performing to a photograph from their own collection, or simply to share their work in an unthemed, non-photographic section (time permitting). The Printers Room, under Sebastiaans, will be providing a full menu for those who would like to dine out or enjoy a nibble and a drink.

Full event details and instructions on how to be part of the open mic sections are available at the website.