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.

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Here are my most recent posts

Ep 20 Cashing in on Stephen King, writing to pen pals, how to kickstart your creativity and we chat to daddy blogger Reservoir Dad.

ep20

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 we chat about the writer spending Stephen King’s money, how you can make 50k a year without hitting the bestseller list, writing letters to strangers is making a comeback, Fiona McFarlane writes about her journey to being published, how to revive your creativity, Writer in Residence and daddy blogger Reservoir Dad, tracking your writing expenses, what you should charge for content marketing and more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 19 Is the book industry living or dying? Why journalists are less trusted than lawyers and author behind the Marika Hartmann series, Greg Barron.

ep19

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 we chat about why Valerie makes people cry, is the book industry living or dying? Why journalists are less trusted than lawyers, how to become a wildlife journalist, should you consider a career in technical writing? Books That Changed the World by Andrew Taylor, blog naming woes, why bloggers need to do more than just trademark their name, Writer in Residence and author behind the Marika Hartmann series Greg Barron, writing on a green screen, how to tell if a publisher pays and more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 18 Typewriter obsessions, book recommendations, what it REALLY feels like to write the first draft of a novel and freelance fiction editor Nicola O’Shea.

ep18

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 we chat about why Valerie can’t go past a good typewriter, author-approved writing implements, student successes, Cory Doctorow’s novel pulled from school reading programme, where to find book recommendations, the eight stages of writing a first draft, Writer in Residence freelance fiction editor Nicola O’Shea, the questions you must ask your editor or proofreader, how to check for plagiarism and more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 17 Bookshop towns, writing fears revealed, the Pomodoro technique and bestselling sensation Hugh Howey.

ep17

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 we ask: what are your writing fears? Towns replacing lost industry with books, how to write a solid press release, a new system for plotting your novel, Reservoir Dad – The Book, Writer in Residence, best selling author and Amazon success story Hugh Howey, how to use the Pomodoro technique, why you need fingerless gloves and more!

You can listen via:

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

Now tell me what you REALLY want.

What you really want Feature

I have a tendency to make people cry. I don’t set out to do it – and it’s not because I’m being mean to people. The tears are unusually ones of relief – and, sometimes, a little bit of joy.

For reasons I can’t explain, when I talk to people – even total strangers – I have a way of getting to the truth. It’s never from asking private questions. I just seem to have a way of asking the right questions; the ones that make people really think about what they want out of their life. I don’t set out to do it; it’s just second nature to me.

I’ll admit that I don’t have a particular strategy or methodology when it comes to helping people figure out their true desires (and most of the time, they’ve already figured it out, they just haven’t articulated it to anyone, even themselves). I can only guess that I make people feel comfortable or confident enough to express these thoughts for the first time. Or I can see when they are lying to themselves – and I call them out on it.… Read more ...

Ep 16 What is an author platform made up of? Do book launches make a difference? And novelist Deborah O’Brien.

ep16

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 we ask do you need to give away your secrets to succeed? Why you must know what an author platform is, how book launches have changed, the 14 stages to writing a book, is it time to stop blogging? Writer in Residence Deborah O’Brien, what happens if you lose your draft, and should you call yourself a writer if you’re not yet published?

You can listen via:

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

The tables are turned: What happens when a former Olympian interviews me

Toby Jenkins

As a journalist, I’m always the ones asking the questions. So it’s quite a change when the tables are turned. Recently, Toby Jenkins from Bluewire Media interviewed me for the podcast he co-hosts with Adam Franklin, “Web Marketing That Works”.

Toby competed in water polo in the 2004 Olympics. While he used to dominate in the pool (that’s him in the picture at the Olympics against Spain), he is now (along with Adam) rocking the world of business with Bluewire Media.

You can find the Bluewire Media podcast here:
http://www.bluewiremedia.com.au/blog/2014/06/wmtw-26-valerie-khoo
Adam and Toby are also former students of the Australian Writers’ Centre. I’ve been thrilled to watch them co-write and release their awesome book “Web Marketing That Works” (published through Wiley).

This book is packed with practical advice. As regular readers will know, I’m a big fan of using the web to connect with my community. If you’re interested in the world of web marketing for your business, this is a wonderful guide on what you need to know.

It’s an honest account of what it takes to succeed in web marketing.… Read more ...

Animal Matters: An executive red carpet business event with a serious message

REX

Many of you know that I have a number of pets. Five to be exact. And judging by the number of pet photos that I feature on this blog, it’s easy to assume that I’ve been an animal lover from way back.

To tell you the truth, that’s not the case. When I was younger, I never had a remote affinity with animals or pets. I was never that enamoured with visiting people if they had a dog. Wasn’t fond of cats. Just not into it.

Then Rex came into my life.

Not only did I fall in love, I suddenly developed a love for animals that simply didn’t exist before. Not just a love, but a deep appreciation for the role their have in our lives and the joy their can bring to people in so many ways.

Yep, my life changed. Having said that, I’m not the sort of person who is going to sit around a moon-lit circle and sing “Kum-Ba-Yah”, waxing lyrical about the presence of animals in our lives.

So I was thrilled to hear about “Animal Matters: An executive red carpet business event with a serious message”.… Read more ...

Ep 15 Ask questions to writers, what writers really earn, why you need Canva, and meet split personality author Kim Wilkins/Kimberley Freeman.

ep15

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 take a break to write, Goodreads launches ‘ask the author’ section, old writer’s notebooks, author earnings: established vs debut, Amazon and Hachette to decide future of book publishing and what this means for you, the comprehensive book blogger list, Writer in Residence Dr. Kim Wilkins (aka Kimberley Freeman), why you need Canva in your life and those famous last words: “I’ll write when…”

You can listen via:

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

Ep 14 Interviewing your heroes, how write to get a house, and should you use Scrivener? And meet author/columnist Mark Dapin.

ep14

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 we ask is the Internet an enemy of writers’ creativity? Huffington Post and Techcrunch establish a presence in Australia, how to make story time count with your kids, free homes to dedicated writers, the book ‘Everyone can write’ by Howard Gelman, build your following before your book deal, Writer in Residence Mark Dapin, is Scrivener right for you? And why you need to treat your writing as a business.

You can listen via:

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