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.

June audio — cold comfort

June’s edition was very well attended, in defiance of a chill Ballarat winter’s night, and we were stoked at how many performers worked with the theme of ‘cold comfort’.

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

In July we are taking ‘a shot in the dark‘ for our non-compulsory theme, A WEEK EARLIER than usual on the 11th.


Kirstyn McDermott reads the entertaining “Hamster Orgasm” by Darren Rout at June’s Words Out Loud.


Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival is loud and live in July

Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival 2019Words Out Loud is chuffed to be squeezing into the program for the Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, which runs July 12-28 at various venues in the capital (and some outside it!).

The opening night event on Friday the 12th looks massive, and it just keeps on rolling from there.

So yes, our July event on the 11th is also on the calendar, for those who want to warm up for the big events!