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This book will change your life

What are Power Stories? What makes them so effective? And why do you need eight of them? Prepare to harness the lost art of storytelling as you transform your brand into an icon and your customers into loyal advocates!

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Podcast: So you want to be a writer

Get your weekly dose of news in the world of writing, publishing and blogging. Join Valerie Khoo and co-host Allison Tait as they give you insider gossip and ideas on how to make it as a successful writer.
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Podcast: So you want to be a Photographer

Get your weekly dose of news in the world of photography, publishing and blogging. Join Valerie Khoo and co-host Gina Milicia as they give you insider gossip and ideas on how to make it as a successful photogrpher.
All episodes
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PHOTO Ep 28: Bok bok bokeh: How to get beautiful blurry backgrounds

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a photographer with acclaimed photographer Gina Milicia.

It’s an art to create images that have beautiful blurry backgrounds. Whether you are shooting portraits, still life, lifestyle, corporate images or events, it pays to know how to get just the right blurry background … or bokeh. That’s the technical term.

Gina and Valerie discuss exactly what you need to do to achieve beautiful blurry backgrounds regardless of what kind of camera or lens you are using. (And yes, you can even achieve this on your smartphone!).

This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “bokeh” or “blurry backgrounds”

Listen via: iTunesStitcher or over on Gina's website.… Read the rest

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WRITER Ep 66 How to tell if you’re a word nerd, bloggers’ morning routines, new books from EL James and JK Rowling, and we talk to Managing Editor of Penguin Rando House Brandon VanOver.

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

In Episode 66 of So you want to be a writer: The word nerd test, what a blogger’s morning routine looks like, new books from EL James and JK Rowling, the book ‘Modern Australian Usage: A Practical Guide for Writers and Editors’ by Nicholas Hudson, why scheduling will make you a better blogger, interview with Managing Editor of Penguin Random House Brandon VanOver, hacks to make you a Scrivener pro, and more!

You can listen via:

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PHOTO Ep 27: Great Glass: the best portrait lenses for beginners, enthusiasts and pros.

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a photographer with acclaimed photographer Gina Milicia.

So you’ve been using the lens that came with your camera. But if you want to take your photography to the next level, it might be time to invest in some new lenses. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which lens is best for you?

Gina and Valerie discuss what’s the best “next lens” for you. They outline a typical “glass journey” for photographers, what kind of lenses suits what purposes, and they give you the lowdown on how to choose lenses – and what you can expect to pay.

This week’s theme for #ginachallenge … Read the rest

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WRITER Ep 65 AWC graduate Belinda Williams published by Momentum; HarperCollins’ new Book Bliss; the 29 Minute Book; the Magna Carta; and Writer in Residence Nicky Pellegrino, author of “One Summer in Venice”.

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

In Episode 65 of So you want to be a writer: Valerie and Allison congratulate AWC graduate Belinda Williams on her latest novel The Pitch published with Momentum, they discuss two new content marketing agencies launched in Australia, HarperCollins’ new Book Bliss, the 29 Minute Book service for those who want to be smart and fast, facts about the Magna Carta, the book Still Writing by Dani Shapiro, free to use images from Unsplash, interview Writer in Residence Nicky Pellegrino, give you the scoop on how you could win a copy of One Summer in Venice, treat you to … Read the rest

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PHOTO Ep 26: Tying the knot: a beginner’s guide to wedding photography

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a photographer with acclaimed photographer Gina Milicia.

It’s only a matter of time before one of your friends asks you to be their wedding photographer. Or maybe this is an area you’re actually interested in getting into as a career. Well, weddings are a world unto themselves! And if you want to take great shots at a wedding, you need a clear system and a profound understanding of what’s actually going make the day run smoothly. Unlike any other event, this day is often the culmination of someone’s dream. So it’s vital that you get it right.

In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss what you need … Read the rest

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WRITER Ep 64 How to write an essay to win a house, whether you need to outline your novel, the trend of co-written books, how to approach celebrities for interviews, the book “Hot for Words” by Marina Orlova and we chat to Writer in Residence Anne Gracie, author of 18 historical romance books.

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

In Episode 64 of So you want to be a writer: Essay writing competitions with real estate prizes, co-written books, 27 interesting facts about words that you probably didn’t need to know, to outline or not to outline your novel, Damian Madden’s weekly “creativity interview”, how to approach celebrities for interviews, the book “Hot for Words”by Marina Orlova, Writer in Residence Anne Gracie, and more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read the rest

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PHOTO Ep 25: Strut your stuff: How to become more confident as a photographer

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a photographer with acclaimed photographer Gina Milicia.

No matter how experienced we are as photographers, there are times when we can all do with a big shot of confidence. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss proven techniques (some will surprise you!) that will boost your confidence and, in turn, help you take awesome photos.

Listen via: iTunes, Stitcher or over on Gina's website.… Read the rest

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WRITER Ep 63 Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, the murky economics of content marketing, famous authors that were all rejected by publishers, a cool “book map”, everything you wanted to know about blogging as a career, the book “Who said that first? The curious origins of common words and phrases” by Max Cryer, and Writer in Residence Lindsey Kelk.

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about Australian writers on #WhereIWrite, the ethics of branded content marketing, famous authors who were rejected by publishers, the superpower all published writers have (and you can have too!), Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner on art, a street map made up of book titles, everything you wanted to know about blogging as a career, the book “Who said that first? The curious origins of common words and phrases” by Max Cryer, Writer in Residence Lindsey Kelk, how to back up your writing, and more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the Read the rest

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PHOTO Ep 24: Planes, trains and automobiles, baby: How to take great travel shots

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a photographer with acclaimed photographer Gina Milicia.

Many people think that you need to go to a exotic locations to take a great travel shots. And many photographers end up with countless vistas of landscapes. However, if you want awesome travel shots, the devil is in the detail – and knowing exactly what time of day is going to capture THAT magic moment. In this episode, Gina and Valerie talk about what you need to do to prepare for your trip, your must-dos when you’re on the ground and how to make the most of your shots when you get back home.

This week’s theme for #ginachallenge … Read the rest

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WRITER Ep 62 We discuss the most borrowed books from libraries in Australia, the death of the paragraph, new freelancer website, crime fiction inspired by Bruce Springsteen. And we talk to children’s book publisher Suzanne O’Sullivan

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about Sydney Writers’ Festival wrap up, the most borrowed books from Australian libraries, how much (or little) publications pay freelance writers, the rise and demise of the paragraph, crime short stories inspired by Bruce Springsteen songs, the book ‘How I Became a Famous Novelist’ by Steve Hely, an interview with children’s book publisher Suzanne O’Sullivan, Spotify music streaming service, how to stop editing and get on with writing, and more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. Read the rest

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