My life in a minute: It’s been a big year!


Well, 2012 has been a big year and it looks like next year will be even bigger. So what are the highlights?

SXSW: South by South West in Austin, Texas is always a mind trip and this year was no different. It’s five days of ideas, ideas and then some more ideas. If you want to go somewhere with great speakers, lots of food trucks, HEAPS of parties, and the opportunity to make connections with some amazing people, this is the place to be.



Let’s Talk Business seminar series: I love working with the City of Sydney on the Let’s Talk Business seminar series for entrepreneurs. The City of Sydney and the team from The Events Agency are a pleasure to deal with and I get the chance to help so many innovative entrepreneurs tell their stories to the crowd. I’m thrilled to say that I’m coming back next year for another round. See you there!



Inspired by: Our students at the Australian Writers’ Centre. They continue to kick goals, get book deals, and make huge strides in their writing goals. One of the biggest wins this year was Jessica Shirvington’s news that Steven Spielberg’s production company is turning her books into a TV series next year. When I get news like this, it’s makes all the hard work we put into the Centre and our students worthwhile.

But Jessica is just one of our success stories. Thank you to all our students in the community – you truly inspire me every day!



Launched: My own book Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business. Released in October 2012, it’s been wonderful to see this come to life. Back in January, it was just an idea. Thanks to everyone at Wiley for believing in it, to the wonderful Seth Godin for writing the testimonial on the cover – and everyone who has supported the book so far.



The Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network: What a powerful network. It was great to attend the DWEN conference in New Delhi in India. So much learning, so many amazing women!


With the lovely CEO of Futurepeople Recruitment Linda Simonsen


If you’re not familiar with DWEN, here’s a short video (with a cameo from yours truly and the lovely Suzi Dafnis from the Australian Busineswomen’s Network when we were in Rio de Janeiro):



My team: I have to say that I love each and every one of my team at the Australian Writers’ Centre. They are smart, motivated and wonderfully committed to helping us provide the best service we can and to build a Centre we can all be proud of. And yes, we all love to eat!



Starting: Co-founding has been a busy but energising experience. I’ve gone back to my scrappy startup days and it’s been fun working with my co-founders, two wonderful women – Katrina Allen and Michelle Palmer. is a fast and efficient way for brands and bloggers to connect.



Looking forward to: Next year. We have huge plans for next year. And I can’t wait to get started on them after a short break. Our Melbourne courses have kicked off (so I’ll be seeing more of you Melbourne peeps), we have great plans for the Best Australian Blogs Competition, cool ideas for Latte magazine (which I edit) and we will continue to serve our growing online community of writing students.

Happy holidays!
And here’s to a big 2013. As this year draws to a close, I’m looking forward to a spending time with my five furry babies. They each have their own Santa sacks and I only have a few more surprises to buy so they will be very spoilt on Christmas morning.

I hope you have a restful and peaceful Christmas break. What are your big plans for 2013?












About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.
  • Kelly Exeter

    Is it terrible to play favourites? Because I think Dougal is my favourite! Merry Christmas to you and your gorgeous fur children Val. And quite frankly, I am exhausted after the year you’ve had 😉

    • valeriekhoo

      You can’t talk. You’re everywhere Kelly! Have a fantastic break and I bet I see even more of you in the new year. I LOVE your manifestos. My fave one is stuck right next to my desk.

  • Lisa Gorman

    Great news and what a fab summary of a top year for you Valerie and the AWC (I’m still getting used to the new name!).
    I’ve been to Blogging for Beginners, I’ve bought 3 copies of your book and given away 2, I’ve lusted after Travel Writing in Ubud (having returned from there in October!) and have gone a long way in developing website content, blogging topics and business planning which will all support my new brand in 2013.
    I didn’t mentioned I’ve applied for Masters of Education (Leadership) with UWS too so there will be even more writing on the cards.
    Can’t wait for it all.
    Thanks for being one of a number of entrepreneurial woman that have done so much to inspire me to ACT NOW in 2012 and continue to step ahead in the future!
    Blessings to you at Christmas Valerie!
    Lisa G

    • valeriekhoo

      Wow. Your summary makes me feel lazy. Here’s to an even bigger and more fulfilling 2013 Lisa!

  • Al McKillop

    An amazing year, you are a great inspiration, but there are some basics you need to focus on in 2013. Firstly, learn to cook a steak properly and secondly, make time to drink good whisky :) Get those two right and the world is your oyster. Happy Christmas and have a fantastic New Year. Slainte. Al & Nadia

    • valeriekhoo

      Yeah the steak thing … it’s a challenge. The whisky, I’ll nail that one. You two have an awesome Christmas and NY too.

  • Vanessa Carnevale

    Loved reading through this Valerie! Here’s to a brilliant 2013 xox

    • valeriekhoo

      I’m thinking that 2013 will be fab for both of us. Hope our paths cross again soon :)

  • Ernie Nemec

    To our Val! Write, Read, Laugh & Live. Cheers to a great 2013.

    • valeriekhoo

      Thanks Ernie. I like that mantra. Same to you!

  • Mick Baker

    Love reading about your adventures/ accomplishments. Hopefully you are going to SXSW again in 2013. Can’t wait to check it out..

    • valeriekhoo

      Wish I was going Mick. But I’m thinking I’ll skip this year and head back in 2014 :)