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.

The end is nigh, so here’s a bonus poem

Greg by Abigail Robertson

‘Greg’ by Abigail Robertson, the inspiration for poems by Rachel O’Neill

Weathering the Future is entering its last days, so please pop into the Backspace gallery to survey this collaborative discussion of what awaits around the corner.

The gallery is open Thursday 20 December until Sunday 23 December, noon-4pm, and if you’re still looking for a Christmas present (for yourself even!), well, much of the art is for sale. Also, there are handsome magazine-style catalogues that collect all the art and text in one handy volume, selling for $20.

Twenty-two writers used artwork as inspiration for flash fiction and poetry, which in turn inspired new art, in what is a fairly uncommon collaboration for an art exhibition. Two of our writers got so inspired, they submitted two poems, but only one each could be used.

To mark the final run of the exhibition at Backspace, here is the poem from Rachel O’Neill that didn’t get used in Weathering the Future, responding to Abigail Robertson’s painting ‘Greg’. [click here to read, or hear, Rachel’s other poem alongside the art it was inspired by and which it in turn inspired.] Enjoy:

Poised for contemplation,
Considering the past,
Weathering the future
How long will this life last?

Lyrically thinking,
This world exists in rhyme,
And those who live for reason
Are simply wasting time.

Smile a little wider,
Hide your weary tears,
Thoughts that are too tedious
Can snatch away your years.

The exhibition has two ways for visitors to contribute: ‘Precipice’ asks visitors to write on, or simply fold, a chatterbox to be added to this work in progress, while messages in prose or verse can be added to the comment wall, and may appear on this blog. We’d love to read your contributions!

Bonus poem as exhibition resumes on Thursday

Unbearable...so you think I can eat plastic by Ken Makings

Unbearable…so you think I can eat plastic by Ken Makings. Picture: Ian Kemp

Backspace gallery is open Thursday 13 December until Sunday 16 December, noon-4pm, and again the following Thursday-Sunday. Please pop in and check out the art, much of which is for sale (there’s a Christimas hint for you!).

Two of our writers got so inspired, they submitted two poems, but only one each could be used in the exhibition.

To mark the reopening of Backspace tomorrow, here is the poem from Rhonda Poholke that didn’t get used in Weathering the Future, responding to Ken Making’s “Unbearable…”. [click here to read, or hear, Rhonda’s other poem.] Enjoy:

A Helpless Animal Cries to the Earth

Because there is a crack running through
the chill white dawn, and the sky is melting
into the blood-thick horizon,
and I
feel every ache and weight pressing
against your heartbeat.
I’d mention the fish too – but there are
none to speak of anymore,
so I listen
for an echoing syllable of hope
and I cry
and starve and die for you.

On Sunday 16 December, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is having a gala launch of its summer program from 2pm till 5pm. It’s a perfect opportunity to pop into Backspace, too!