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March Words Out Loud – cancelled

Sadly, due to advice about social distancing in the fight to contain COVID-19, Words Out Loud has cancelled the March 19 event in Creswick. It hopes to be back in action at its new base in Ballarat for the April edition, but that will depend on coronavirus developments.

Please see the Words Out Loud website for more information.

Book review: The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell

The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

Author: Leah Purcell

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, 2019

the drover's wife by leah purcell

Leah Purcell is an award-winning writer and has a background as a playwright, actor and film producer amongst other achievements.  This novel has been adapted for film, which is slated for release this year.

This historical fiction novel, based on a short story written by Henry Lawson, provides a stark sense of our history, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Set in the late 1800s, The Drover’s Wife tells of the harsh and almost impossible conditions that were endured during white settlement. The plot focuses mainly on Molly Johnson who, with her children, waits for her husband to return from months away droving. They live in an isolated hut in the High Country where, with the help of her eldest son, Danny, Molly and the children survive and cope on their own, including the birthing of a baby.

A visitor arrives unexpectedly. Yodaka is keen to be away from civilisation and begs time to recover from the injuries he’s received on the run. Eventually Molly discovers that Yodaka is the holder of knowledge that Molly eventually understands.

The book depicts the best and worst of human behaviour: cruelty, degradation, humour, love and a will to survive. The intriguing plot invites the reader to travel in the shoes of the tenacious and suffering Molly Johnson, the drover’s wife.

This story lingered in my thoughts for weeks after finishing the novel and I quickly fell back into the emotive ambience of the book while writing this review. I loved the book – it made me think yet again about colonisation and our (I’m a white Australian) role that has never been fully owned up to. The writer integrated and treated the issues of women and their place in history and society with clarity and directness.

Thanks, Leah Purcell. I couldn’t put this book down.

Reviewed by:

Heather Whitford Roche, Jan 2020

Ballarat Writers Inc. Book review group

BWI 2020 AGM Results

Our 2020 AGM has been and gone. We would like to thank all of the members who turned up to vote, and all the members who stood for positions on our 2020 committee.

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February Words Out Loud

February WOL flyer

February’s theme at Words Out Loud is “Tainted Love”. Wordsmiths are invited to explore the theme or simply ignore it altogether.
This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s.

Date: Thursday February 20

Time: Doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

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BWI 2020 AGM information

It’s that time of year again! Our AGM will be held on Wednesday February 12 at the Bunch of Grapes hotel from 7pm. The outgoing committee will be there early to gather feedback and ideas, and to answer questions from those who might be interested in building Ballarat Writers into something bigger and better.

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2019 Southern Cross Short Story Competition Results

2019 BALLARAT SHORT STORY COMPETITION.

Ballarat Writers Inc. would like to thank everyone who submitted to the 2019 Southern Cross Short Story competition. The winners were announced at our final meeting for the year in November, and the winning entry was read aloud.

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November Words Out Loud

November WOL flyer

Words Out Loud tackles the theme of “the dry season” at its November edition. Wordsmiths are invited to explore the theme or simply ignore it altogether.
This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s. Performances are limited to 5 minutes each. Sign up on the night.

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October’s Words Out Loud Events

October 2019 Words Out Loud Flyer

Words Out Loud looks to family and photography when it continues its Snapshot Series on Saturday October 5 as part of the Ballarat Foto Biennale.

The Snapshot Series is a three-event series celebrating the power of photographs to trigger stories, whether real or fantastical.
Jenny Valentish will headline at our Saturday afternoon event, Mirrors of Ourselves, with a theme of family.

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

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Online, (mostly) Australian Writing Resources

Hello all! As Australian writers, we are often quite isolated, some of us in more than one way. We are not only isolated from other English-speaking countries, but many of us are also isolated from larger population centres. This means it’s often hard for us to connect on a deeper level with each other.

The purpose of this month’s (September, 2019) blog post is to provide a living list of useful, online Australian writing resources that give before asking (i.e. they don’t make you pay money before giving you anything). If you have anything you think should be added to this list, please do contact us at (publicity) (without the brackets) at this domain name, and we’ll be happy to consider your suggestion!

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September Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud opens its Snapshot Series on September 19 as part of the Ballarat Foto Biennale.
The Snapshot Series is a three-event series celebrating the power of photographs to trigger stories, 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.

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