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

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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 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.

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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 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 ...

Join me for a Tweetchat: Thursday 29 May 12 noon

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I love Twitter. So when Suzi Dafnis from the wonderful Australian Businesswomen’s Network asked me if I wanted to be involved in a Tweetchat, of course I said yes!

This is a chance for anyone to ask me questions in real time (via Twitter) about writing your own book. You’ll have to be succinct – because your question will need to fit in 140 characters.

If you’re interested in participating:

Date: 29 May 2014
Time: 12.00pm – 12.30pm
Price: Free
The details
If you’ve always wanted to write your own book and haven’t known where to begin, join us on 29 May at 12.00pm LIVE on Twitter at @suzidafnis and get your questions answered in real-time from author and founder of the Australian Writers’ Centre, Valerie Khoo.

How to take part:
Tune in to @suzidafnis at 12.00pm on 29 May. Valerie will be our guest on a 30-minute live chat facilitated by the Australian Businesswomen’s Network’s Suzi Dafnis. Valerie will answer your questions live.

Ask Your Questions:
You can either email your questions ahead of time, here.… Read more ...

Honoured to be featured in Foundr magazine

VK Feature
I was recently interviewed by Nathan Chan from Foundr magazine. As someone who is usually asking the questions (I’m constantly interviewing people in my role as a journalist), it’s different being on the other side of the fence. Being interviewed but someone who has truly thought through their questions – as Nathan did – and who isn’t afraid to dig deeper, is refreshing. The process makes you think and helps crystallise your stance on various issues.
If you’re interested, you can get the magazine on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/ Android Device using the following links: www.foundrmag.com/itunes or www.foundrmag.com/androidRead more ...

Ep 13 Authors who’ve disowned their books, Scarlett Johansson’s bizarre law suit, advice from book publicists, and Writer in Residence Kristen Hammond

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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 great authors who’ve disowned their books, why is Scarlett Johansson suing an author? Australian Gourmet Traveller and Harvey Norman announce the Gourmet Institute, advice from a former book publicist, grow your blog one reader at a time, Writer in Residence and senior commissioning editor at John Wiley & Sons Kristen Hammond, 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 12 Secret libraries; ‘The Novelist’ computer game; how to stay published; and interview with author Fiona McFarlane

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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 are journalists miserable, over educated and underpaid? The Best Australian blogs are announced, the secret libraries of New York city, write a novel… in a game, how Reading Australia are making a difference to Australian schools and universities, the importance of staying published, Writer in Residence Fiona McFarlane, 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 ...

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

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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 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

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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

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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 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

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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 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 ...

Ep 5 New publication for News Corp, buffaloes on the loose, the most unusual use of Shakespeare ever and why Writer in Residence John Purcell writes as “Natasha Walker”

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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 chat about the newest News Corp publication, buffaloes on the loose in Sydney, the most unusual use of Shakespeare, James Scott Bell’s book Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between and we speak with John Purcell about Booktopia and his well-kept secret.

You can listen via:

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

My new podcast is “New & Notable” on iTunes!

NewandNoteworthy

This week I was thrilled to discover that my new podcast “So you want to be a writer” is featured in the “New & Notable” section on iTunes. I co-host this podcast with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait – and we’re having a ball!

Allison and I first met when we were desk buddies back when we worked together at CLEO magazine. Those were the days when we interviewed everyone from Australia’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors, celebrities, supermodels and everyone in between. Part of the job was to go to industry functions, film screenings, fashion shoots and the like.

However, you can only sustain that kind of lifestyle for so long. Yes, it gets boring. And, these days, we’re more excited about staying at home than we are about going out. Well, I am anyway! One thing we both love is to talk about the world of writing, blogging and publishing. And that’s what our podcast is about.

So if you’re interested in an inside look at how to become a writer – with news and a bit of gossip thrown in – including our regular “Writer in Residence” interview with an author or industry insider, I hope you’ll tune in!… Read more ...

What I’ve learnt from San Diego

USS Midway

I’m currently in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World and have been able to sample this lovely city for the past few days. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

1. San Diego is Man Diego
Apparently, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the ratio of men to women is very healthy in San Diego. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back up this claim but that’s what my friend from LA tells me. A cursory look around the bars and restaurants in the evenings prove her correct

2. Uber.com works much better in San Diego that it does in Sydney
In the past 36 hours I’ve used Uber.com (the hire car app) more frequently that I’ve had hot dinners. The app works like a charm, a driver magically appears in front of me within minutes of booking and takes me to my destination at a very reasonable cost. Unfortunately, I’m unable to say the same thing about Uber in Sydney because it is a far more frustrating experience. If the Uber service in Sydney ever comes close to the quality in San Diego, I will be hooked.… Read more ...

Ep 4 Get extra money, book trailers, public speaking for authors, should authors blog and Writer in Residence Allison Rushby

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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 JK Rowling puts a new Harry Potter story online, do book trailers really work?, we chat about Joanna Penn’s new book Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and other Introverts, you tell us what gets you to the end of a book, we chat with Allison Rushby about self publishing, and more.

You can listen via:

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