Word Travels was started by Miles Merrill in 2007. After working for 11 years performing his own stories, poems and monologues, Merrill decided to offer opportunities to artists with similar passions and abilities.
Merrill formed Word Travels while working with The State Library of NSW. A number of spoken-word projects were born out of this collaboration. Merrill needed to build an organisation to include multiple stakeholders and separate large group programs from his personal artistic career.
From 2005 to 2009, the library assisted Word Travels in setting up Australia’s first national poetry slam. In 2008, Word Travels also produced Night Words, Australia’s first spoken-word festival at the Sydney Opera House.
In June 2010, Word Travels incorporated as a not-for-profit arts association.