November Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud is going out with a slow apocalypse as the year’s program draws to a close in November. The theme for the night is ‘eroding confidence’ — make of that what you will, or ignore it altogether.

As a special treat, the night will feature advance readings of work from the Weathering the Future art exhibition, taking place at Backspace Gallery from December 6 to 23. The official launch is on December 8 — all welcome. Click here for details.

Continue reading


Words Out Loud August — In the Winter Dark

Words Out Loud strikes a light ‘in the winter dark’ at Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, August 17, 7–9pm, for its next session of spoken word!

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

As always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their five-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.
Keep up to date at the Facebook page:

2017 Ballarat Writers Trivia Night

Ballarat Writers Incorporated invites you to its second annual 50-50 Trivia Night. Last year was lots of fun, why not join in again?

Many generous sponsors have generously provided prizes for the night, including Mars Confectionery, Dan Murphy’s, Country Kids, Toyland and Toy World, to name a few.

What, Where and When?

A night of interesting literary and general knowledge brain teasers, games, a silent auction and a spinning wheel.

  • Saturday 17th June beginning at 7 pm
  • Ballarat East Bowling Club, Bradshaw Street, Golden Point

Tickets are $10 a head, with tables of 8-10 people. Come along and meet some new people, bring your own brains trust.
B Y O Supper. Drinks are available for purchase at bar prices.

Please send your booking numbers to by June 15th at 5 pm. $10 per head will be collected on the night. A bonus is being planned for those who pre-book and turn up on the night!


More information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Minerva Speaks

Minvera will be broadcast stories by local Ballarat writers on the 10th, 17th and 24th of March from 8–9pm at the Titanic bandstand and along the 200 block of Sturt St, Ballarat.

Support your fellow Ballarat writers and bear witness as the Goddess speaks.

Welcome the new Ballarat Writers committee

The new committee for Ballarat Writers has been elected unopposed. They are:

Chair: Irene Warfe
Treasurer/membership: Danielle O’Donnell
Secretary: Joy Merritt
Competitions: Rebekah Spark
Publicity and media: Rebecca Fletcher.

Also at the AGM held on 15 February 2017, the Ballarat writers festival subcommittee reported that talks on venues were proceeding well and grant applications were being prepared. Volunteers will be needed to help with the running of the festival on October 20-22, so save the dates — all assistance gratefully received!

Tomorrow (16 Feb): Words Out Loud
Sunday (19 Feb): Write Club / Flash fiction entries close
Monday (20 Feb): flash fiction voting opens at the website
Wednesday (22 Feb): Members night

AGM nomination and proxy forms

In preparation for the Annual General Meeting of Ballarat Writers on Wednesday 15 February, forms for nominations for committee are now available for download at the website. They will also be available at our January members night on Thursday the 25th.

Five committee positions need to be filled:

  • chairperson
  • secretary/public officer
  • treasurer and membership coordinator
  • competitions coordinator
  • publicity and media coordinator

Click here to download a nomination form.

Nominations must be emailed or delivered to outgoing chairperson Jess McCulloch (see form for details) by Wednesday 8 February. Voting will take place at the AGM, at Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South, Ballarat, at 7pm. The outgoing committee will be at the room early to gather feedback and ideas, and to answer questions from those who might be interested in taking Ballarat Writers forward.

Also available on the website is a proxy voting form for those unable to attend the AGM. This should be carried by the proxy on the night. Proxy forms will also be available at the members night on 25 January.

Click here to download a proxy voting form.

2017 is an exciting year for Ballarat Writers at its writing festival takes shape under its organising subcommittee. Current committee members will be available to advise the new committee on operating procedures, and handover documents will be available to further aid the transition.

Sofie Laguna Ballarat workshop on writing for children

Sofie Laguna

Writing For Children with Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna, author of more than 20 books for children, will run this workshop in Ballarat. Focus on technical aspects of writing, including voice, character, plot, structure and content, as well as the publishing side of the business. Learn how to discover and use an authentic child’s voice in various forms of children’s writing: picture books, junior novels and novels. Find out how knowing your characters well will solve problems related to plot, rhythm and structure.

Presented in association with Writers Victoria. Supported by the Grace Marion Wilson Trust.
More information: Writers Victoria

When: 27 August, 10am–4pm
Venue: To be advised
Cost: Member of Writers Victoria or Ballarat Writers: $80; Concession Member of Writers Victoria or Ballarat Writers: $70; Non-Member: $120.
Bookings: Writers Victoria

Trivia Night in July!

Trivia 2016Get your teams together for the Ballarat Writers’ trivia night! Teams of 6-8 are invited to test their general knowledge and be in the running for prizes valued at more than $1000! $10 a person, BYO picnic supper, drinks at bar prices. Teams are encouraged to book, but will be accepted on the night.
Where: Ballarat East Bowls Club, 300 Bradshaw St
When: 7pm, Friday 15 July
Bookings: Maureen on 0419 178 152, or at the door
Share the event on Facebook!

Poetry Pathways A Great Success!

ppphotoPoetry Pathways 7 – 9 March 2015

Three days.

Six tours.

Sixteen poets.

Twenty-four poems.

And 25,000 people.

Poetry Pathways, held in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens over the long weekend added a unique and artistic vibe to the already bustling Begonia Festival.

Sometimes seemingly lost amongst the crowd, the readers were never unnoticed as they strolled through the gardens with a portable speaker and microphone in hand, their voices rising above the din.

Each tour included a selection of 8 – 10 poems and we are very pleased that each poem that features in the Poetry Pathways Book got a a reading and all the poets who attended the workshop with Annette Chappell were available to read at least once during the weekend. Some poets read at all six tours which was a fantastic effort and contribution.

The youngest readers were 8 and 10 years old, both of whom got their mother to read their poem in the end, but they certainly owned every word as they stood proudly next to her. Our oldest reader…well, we would never say! But the group was as diverse as their subjects though there were a few themes that emerged.

The giant sequoias inspired five poems. The Prime Ministers also attracted the attention of three poets (including my personal favourite, Polka Dot Art by our 10 year old participant, Rhyall Williams). Statues also featured as subjects including Modesty, Flight from Pompeii, Hercules and the collective of Stoddard statues. There were also poems about the Lily Pond, the Druid’s Oak, the Sensory Garden, a very special Bunya Bunya Pine, and the two lion sentinels at the main entrance.

In its implementation, the poetry tour reminded us more of ‘pop up’ poetry than a poetry trail. We had a lot of competition with the record number crowds and an amazing array of activities (including a very loud sound stage with live music) so everything had to be negotiated and flexibly delivered. Our roving band would approach the subject of our poetry, stop, set up and with a brief announcement, begin to read our original work — poetry about the park, in the park.

We want to express sincere thanks for everyone who supported us in so many ways – photos, book sales, reading, recording and photographing. Many of the readings were recorded by ‘friend of Ballarat Writers’, John. We’re not yet sure what we’ll do with the recording once edited, but it’s certainly nice to have this record of the event. I’d like to make special mention of Neville Hiatt who was dispatched on short notice with a minimal brief to bring back photos from the Gardens. For those who have seen the book, the photos are outstanding. The cover shot has especially brought many glowing compliments. I also want to thank my fellow committee members who provided so much support and encouragement – before, during and after the events.

And a final word for our sponsors. Writers Victoria provided funding for our ekphrastic poetry workshops and one of their committee members even attended one of our afternoon tours. The City of Ballarat Community Events Unit contributed to our book production and provided logistic support with signage and portable microphone during the Festival as well as promotion through the Festival program.

Congratulations to all of our poets and readers. For some, it was their first foray into poetry and for others a first opportunity to perform their poetry in front of an audience. These are great artistic accomplishments!

Poetry Pathways books are still available for $15 by paying on line at and contacting me on to arrange for pick up.

Suzanne Gatz

Poetry Pathways Co-ordinator

Image by Neville Hiatt.