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I’ve turned into someone with dual citizenship. And I have to say that navigating life with one foot placed in the sparkling city of Sydney and the other foot in the culture-and-cafe scene of Melbourne has its challenges. But I love the fact that I’m getting the best of both worlds.
Regular readers will now that I’ve been based in Sydney for most of my life. And when we decided to expand the Australian Writers’ Centre to Melbourne, I firmly believed that I could commute. You know, like all those people you see catching those early morning interstate flights, only to be home later in the evening after a full day of work in another city.
I was seriously DELUDED to think I could do this. Expanding to a new city is like starting a business from scratch. Despite the wonders of the internet and social media, you have to be there in person to: inspect new premises, deepen relationships and become a true member of the community. If you want to fast track your business growth, there’s certainly a lot that you can do online – but a lot MORE you can do in person.… Read more …
Excited: That we have got the keys to our new premises in Melbourne. I’m so thrilled that we’re now one of the arts and culture organisations at The Abbotsford Convent. This precinct is a thriving creative and artistic community and our new neighbours include Drama Victoria, Illustrators Australia, Complete Works Theatre, The Creativity Institute and more.
The Abbotsford Convent is located right in the heart of inner city Melbourne (the nearest station is Collingwood). The grounds are beautiful, there are two bars, gallery spaces, a bakery, restaurants, 3MBSFM, stunning gardens and lots of training rooms where we’ll be holding our courses.
Loving: Best. Invitation. Ever.
I love this clever invitation from Dell. It’s the size of a computer, my photo is included on the top right, and the whole thing is MADE OUT OF CHOCOLATE. Did I mention that it’s the size of a computer … that’s a lot of eating …
Welcoming: Phoebe is the newest member to join our team. It’s her first week at the Australian Writers’ Centre and it’s as if she’s already been here for ages. Welcome Phoebe!
Honoured: To be included in Shopify’s list of “30 books that will help you increase sales”.
I’m so honoured that my book “Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business” is in the same company as books that I’ve admired for ages. These include Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”; Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”; and Anthony Robbins’ “Unlimited Power”.
Catching up with: I love catching up with my writerly buddies Kerri Sackville and Allison Tait. There’s nothing quite like a lunchtime discussion on agents, readers, and the writing process that’s guaranteed to be full of everything from angst to inspiration. These talented women are a wonderful support and are full of sage advice. [...]
Melbourne Writers’ Club: It was great to connect with fabulous people in the writing community at Melbourne Writers’ Club last week, which is a monthly networking event organised by Sandi Sieger, editor-in-chief on Onya Magazine. I was honoured to speak at the event at the The Honey Bar in South Melbourne.
Oscar’s Table: While we’re on all things writing, I do love restaurants with a literary theme. I had dinner at Oscar’s Table at Docklands in Melbourne. It is full of Oscar Wilde quotes, lampshades are made from pages from books and there’s a giant original painting of the man himself adorning the walls.
Getting ready for his closeup
My little doggie Rambo had a photo session with celebrity photographer Gina Milicia last week. He also stars in Gina’s latest book “Making the Shot” which is full of her pro tips on taking portraits.
A very pretty high tea
It was great to check out high tea at Christine Re Tea Rooms in Collingwood in Melbourne. This was the venue of Rhiannon Colarossi’s WellbeingWeb event. Check out how gorgeous it is! [...]
Changing your name is no easy task. But that’s exactly what we did this week. And let me tell you … it’s freaking exhausting.
In case you missed it, we changed our name to Australian Writers’ Centre. For the past seven years, we’ve been building the Sydney Writers’ Centre brand and business. Through lots of hard work and, yes, some sleepless nights, it’s a brand that has gained recognition, established a good reputation and become a favourite among many students who learn with us. So the decision to evolve our name hasn’t been easy.
Over the past couple of years I’ve wrestled with the idea of changing our name. Canvassing the possibility resulted in a range of responses:
“But you’ll lose your SEO.”
“Oh I like the word ‘Sydney’.”
“That’s a really bad idea.”
“Go for it!”
“Have you bought your new URL yet?”
For some time, I almost convinced myself that keeping the word “Sydney” could work. We could run the “Sydney Writers’ Centre” in Melbourne, right? Ummmm, no. Well, not without a great deal of difficulty and ensuing confusion anyway.
I knew in my heart that the name had to change. And once I made the decision to rebrand to the Australian Writers’ Centre, I just knew it was the the right thing to do. [...]
My life in a minute: Breakfast with Twitter, Power Stories to launch in Brazil, Join our Summer School
I’m usually a hermit. I love nothing more than being cocooned at home with my furry babies.
However, my diary had other plans for me this week. So what’s been on the agenda?
Power Stories to launch in Brazil
Big news this week is that my book Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business will be launched in Brazil. The publishers are busy translating it into Portuguese as you read this.
I can’t wait to see the version they sell in Brazil. I won’t be able to read a word of it – but I’m sure I’ll be excited anyway!
Breakfast with Twitter
Sean Callanan at @SportsGeek organised breakfast at the SCG with Mike Brown, Twitter’s head of international growth, this week. Twitter is expanding its reach here. My friends know that getting me to an early breakfast appointment is nothing short of a miracle. Getting me to the SCG is an even bigger one.
Nevertheless, it was worthwhile to hear from the likes of Mike, Wendell Sailor (yes, he’s massive), Scott Dools (yes, he’s funny) and Shaynna Blaze (yes, she’s gorgeous). [...]
This week we celebrated our 6th birthday at the Sydney Writers’ Centre. It’s hard to believe that six years have flown by since I held my first ever course with six students in a small boardroom just around the corner from our current Centre. Here’s how we’ve celebrated how far we’ve come. [...]