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 11 Tablet magazines, fake Twitter followers, awesome writing blogs, the difference between goals and dreams and author Alexa Moses

ep11

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 if you are reading tablet magazines, we discuss the periodic table of storytelling, fake twitter followers, the difference between goals and dreams, the top 10 blogs for writers, how to write a blog post in 15 minutes or less, Writer in Residence tween author Alexa Moses, our Working Writer’s Tip, our Web Pick and more!

You can listen via:

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

Sticky beak: Infusionsoft offices in Phoenix, Arizona

INFS Cereal Bar

Last week, I trekked over to Arizona in the US for a conference for about 3000 small business owners, boldly coined #ICON14. Run by US-based software company Infusionsoft, the company invited the Aussie contingent to tour its offices in Phoenix. So I thought I’d give you a sneak peek as well.

Infusionsoft is a classic startup success story. It was founded in 2001 by Scott and Eric Martineau and Clate Mask and now has over 500 employees in a Google-type building. While there are no slippery slides or sleep pods, there are lots of brights colours, quirky touches and countless proclamations like “We help small businesses succeed” plastered all over the walls.

I first explored Infusionsoft back in 2008 and decided it definitely wasn’t for me. But it appears that a lot has changed in six years. I decided to give it another go earlier this year and have been happy with the results so far. So it was great to be able to go behind the scenes to check it out. So here is my visit in pictures …


Placed prominently in the entrance of the building is a large sculpture of an animal balloon.… Read more ...

Ep 10 Editing nightmares, JuNoWriMo, travel writing boo-boos, author Gabrielle Tozer on ‘The Intern’

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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 should you dump your agent and focus on self publishing? The Best Australian Blogs finalists are announced, JuNoWriMo is here (are you in?), the Australian Financial Review apologies for ‘World is Fukt’ front page, the most hated travel writing cliches, the book Youtility by Jay Baer, Writer in Residence Gabrielle Tozer chats about The Intern, our Web Pick, our Working Writer’s Tip and more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 9 Work here! Shaming publishers to pay you, Pulitzer Prize, should authors have websites? Writer in Residence Jennifer Smart and more!

ep9

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 an ex-writer creates an app to redefine the way you read fiction, we ask should you name and shame publishers to get paid? Donna Tartt wins Pulitzer, when Doris Lessing rescued Jenni Diski, would you watch someone write a book?, The Writing Book by Kate Grenville, Writer in Residence Jennifer Smart our Web picks, the Working Writer’s Tip and more!

You can listen via:

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

My life in a minute: My number 1 podcast! Clever kitty Rex; and my new fave gadget

Rocky

It’s been a whirlwind over here with lots of planning, travelling, systemising and recruiting for new team members at the Australian Writers’ Centre. So here is my life in a minute!

Grateful for: The wonderful support from listeners of my podcast “So you want to be a writer” which I co-host with the wonderfully talented Allison Tait. I’m absolutely loving producing this podcast with Allison. I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback. You’ve helped us get to #1 in the Literature category. And we’ve reached #50 out of ALL podcasts in Australia so far!

Thrilled to: Host our recent meetup in Sydney with the wonderfully talented Tristan Bancks. Tristan shared his wisdom about writing to our community. I’m still in a bit of shock that he can write 2000 words just using his thumbs on his iPhone while walking on the beach in the morning! Tristan’s latest books are Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong.

Speaking at: Business Blueprint conference at Australian Technology Park, organised by the talented Dale Beaumont and his team.Read more ...

Ep 8 Puberty Blues got it wrong, journalists on twitter, self-publishing awards and Writer in Residence Scripted.com

ep8

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 why journalists should use twitter when fired, the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Shortlist, the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist, The Guardian’s Self-Published Book of the Month Competition, Bob Carr’s diva demands, the ideal length of everything online, plotting vs. pantsing, our Writer in Residence Scripted.com and more!

You can listen via:

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

I’m looking for two fantastic people to join my team

Careers featured image

My business is expanding and evolving constantly. I have big plans for the Australian Writers’ Centre. We’re growing, increasing our reach and helping more students across the country – and around the world. Every single day, we receive emails from happy graduates who have changed careers, been promoted or scored book deals as a result of our courses. It’s busy!

There is nothing I love more than watching students bloom and reach their potential. And I want us to be able to help even more people achieve their writing goals. So I’m looking for two fantastic people to join our growing team.

1. An Amazing Operations Manager
You’ll manage the day to day running of the Centre. You’ll work with a team of 40 amazing world-class presenters and core group of five staff. You’re a stickler for professionalism and systems – and you’re happy to represent me when I’m not around. You’ll find details on that role here.

2. A Brilliant Content Manager/Subeditor
We produce a lot of content. In fact, we’ve been named by Expermedia as one of the “best content marketers in Australia”.… Read more ...

It’s true. I yell at my friends.

It's true. I yell at my friends.

I have a tendency to yell at my friends. I know this is not ideal. But, I confess, it’s true. Typically, this happens when I can see how amazing and talented they are – but they won’t believe me. Worse, they simply don’t believe in themselves, in their own capacity to kick their own goals or follow their dreams. It drives me totally bonkers.

I end up yelling: “But can’t you see how amazing you are?” “Can’t you understand that people will definitely buy from you/hire you/download your app? You just need to get out there and tell people you exist!”

I know that I shouldn’t yell at them. But after months – sometimes even years – of gentle encouragement, they still can’t see how talented they are, or how truly viable their business really is.

This is what I hear:
“I feel like a fraud.”
“I don’t think I’m good enough.”
“Why would anyone hire me? I don’t have the credentials.”

The reality is that they DO have the credentials, skills and talents to achieve their goals. And the only person they need to convince … is themselves.… Read more ...

Ep 7 Julia Gillard on GOT, Real Housewives, “American Blogger” doco, blog to book successes and Writer in Residence Kylie Mason

ep7

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 talk about Julia Gillard’s obsession with Game of Thrones, the train wreck that is the Real Housewives of Melbourne, the new documentary “American Blogger”, more blog to book successes and our Writer in Residence Kylie Mason.

You can listen via:

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

Ep 6 Russell Brand, Julian Assange, will The Hoopla survive? And Writer in Residence Jack Ellis

ep6

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 Hoopla’s new paywall, the myth of creative inspiration, Russell Brand’s new children’s stories, inspiring Pinterest boards for writers, Julian Assange’s new book, we speak with author Jack Ellis and more! 

You can listen via:

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