612 episodes

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about succeeding in the world of writing and publishing. Learn practical writing techniques, go behind-the-scenes and discover how real-life authors got their big break. Uncover the creative processes of writers who have made it. Your host is Valerie Khoo – author, journalist, creative and CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre. 

So You Want to be a Writer Australian Writers' Centre

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 405 Ratings

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about succeeding in the world of writing and publishing. Learn practical writing techniques, go behind-the-scenes and discover how real-life authors got their big break. Uncover the creative processes of writers who have made it. Your host is Valerie Khoo – author, journalist, creative and CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre. 

    WRITER 612: Meet Petronella McGovern, author of 'The Last Trace', on how to build narrative tension and keep readers turning the page.

    WRITER 612: Meet Petronella McGovern, author of 'The Last Trace', on how to build narrative tension and keep readers turning the page.

    Meet Petronella McGovern, author of The Last Trace. Petronella shares her top 5 tips on creating narrative tension and so that readers keep turning the page. You'll discover techniques on character development, the challenges of editing, writing cliffhangers, ensuring you have internal and external conflicts and much more.
    00:00 Introduction and welcome00:18 TV series based on books02:28 Nat Newman's writing tips on writing accents10:46 WIN: Lies & Weddings by Kevin Kwan13:51 Word of the week: Psephology15:12 Interview with Petronella McGovern, author of The Last Trace23:09 Introducing the multi-generational characters23:46 Crafting emotional connections with characters24:55 Narrative tension and point of view decisions26:40 Internal and external conflicts27:56 Writing realistic teenagers30:41 Drip feeding secrets and foreshadowing34:18 The importance of cliffhangers35:15 The evolution of writing process39:52 Balancing subplots and multiple POVs42:25 Final thoughts and future projects45:16 Conclusion and fun fact
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    WRITER 611: Lia Hills, author of The Desert Knows Her Name, on how she wrote her first draft in two weeks using a voice software!

    WRITER 611: Lia Hills, author of The Desert Knows Her Name, on how she wrote her first draft in two weeks using a voice software!

    Meet award-winning poet, novelist, and translator Lia Hills. Lia reveals her innovative approach of narrating her novel, The Desert Knows Her Name, using voice recognition software while on location in the desert. She completed her first draft in TWO WEEKS! You’ll discover Lia’s methodology, challenges, and the profound connection between place and narrative.
    00:00 Introduction and host's update02:00 Nat Newman’s writing tips05:51 Words at Dawn writing community08:00 Keep it simple10:21 Useful apps for writers12:31 Book giveaway: The Haters by Robyn Harding14:53 Word of the week: Imbroglio15:35 Interview with Lia Hills27:01 Immersing in character narration28:23 Writing in the desert29:11 Specific writing spaces31:50 Challenges and reflections34:39 Community engagement and research38:47 Editing and software tips49:23 Future writing methods51:17 Final thoughts and tips53:42 Podcast conclusion and resources
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 56 min
    WRITER 610: Meet Kyra Geddes, author of 'The Story Thief'

    WRITER 610: Meet Kyra Geddes, author of 'The Story Thief'

    Meet Kyra Geddes, author of The Story Thief. Kyra discusses her journey from idea to publication, the importance of research, and the challenges of editing her manuscript. The episode concludes with writing tips and a book giveaway: The Wrong Man by Tim Ayliffe.
    00:00 Introduction01:33 Nat Newman’s writing tips09:10 Book giveaway: The Wrong Man by Tim Ayliffe11:20 Word of the week: Fuscous11:54 Interview with Kyra Geddes28:48 The journey to starting the manuscript29:53 Overcoming the fear of the blank page30:56 The long writing process31:54 The path to publication32:51 Facing rejections and manuscript assessments34:06 Pitching to publishers35:45 The epiphany: Switching to first person37:58 Securing a publishing deal42:38 The structural edit challenge50:01 Future writing plans51:33 Top tips for aspiring writers53:28 Conclusion and final thoughts
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    WRITER 609: Hachette’s Vanessa Radnidge on why you should enter the Richell Prize.

    WRITER 609: Hachette’s Vanessa Radnidge on why you should enter the Richell Prize.

    In this special time-sensitive episode of 'So You Want to be a Writer,' Valerie Khoo discusses the prestigious Richell Prize with Vanessa Radnidge, Head of Narrative Nonfiction and Literary at Hachette. The episode dives into the details and benefits of entering this unique prize, which offers a $10,000 reward and a year-long mentorship with a Hachette publisher.
    00:00 Introduction and special episode announcement00:35 The Richell Prize: An overview01:47 Interview with Vanessa Radnidge, Head of Narrative Non-Fiction and Head of Literary at Hachette.03:05 Details of the Richell Prize06:08 The mentorship experience10:53 Advice for aspiring writers16:59 Encouragement to enter literary competitions
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 19 min
    WRITER 608: Meet Michael Brissenden who chats about his novel 'Smoke’

    WRITER 608: Meet Michael Brissenden who chats about his novel 'Smoke’

    Meet Michael Brissenden who chats about his latest novel Smoke. He discusses his research process, where he gets his ideas, how he uses a whiteboard in his writing process and transition from journalism to fiction writing.
    0:00 Introduction and welcome00:23 Success story: Sarah Speedie03:40 Nat Newman's writing tips05:58 Finding beta readers12:41 Competition: Win 'Death in the Air' by Ram Murali14:52 Word of the week: Embrocate17:55 Interview with Michael Brissenden, author of Smoke23:30 Facing rejection and finding inspiration24:25 From journalism to fiction writing25:13 Crafting a nuanced story26:42 Developing characters and plot27:36 The writing process and challenges28:35 Exploring themes in 'Smoke'32:45 Research and authenticity34:30 Daily writing routine36:18 Planning and structuring a novel41:23 Journalism skills in fiction writing46:00 Creating a strong female protagonist51:22 Top writing tips for aspiring authors53:54 Conclusion and final thoughts
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 56 min
    WRITER 607: Author Pamela Freeman and illustrator Liz Anelli on how they collaborated to create 'Seed to Sky: Life in the Daintree'

    WRITER 607: Author Pamela Freeman and illustrator Liz Anelli on how they collaborated to create 'Seed to Sky: Life in the Daintree'

    Meet author Pamela Freeman and illustrator Liz Anelli. They discuss their collaborative process in creating the picture book Seed to Sky: Life in the Daintree. They talk about the research, writing, and illustration process, how they balance text and visuals, and the importance of accuracy in children’s non-fiction.
    00:00 Introduction and welcome03:00 Nat Newman’s writing tip11:48 Book giveaway: The Bookshop Woman by Nanako Hanada14:02 Word of the week: chatoyant15:40 Interview with Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli27:37 The art of bringing colour and tone28:41 The roughs: what are they?29:32 Fiction vs. non-fiction the writing for kids33:01 The journey of an illustrator36:46 The collaborative process
    Read the show notes
    Connect with Valerie and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | ValerieKhoo.com
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
405 Ratings

405 Ratings

AussieBarbs ,

Just Found You Now, Love You Forever

OMG, Val and Al, I’ve only just found your wonderful podcast now, through my second AWC course I’m currently doing. The courses are fabulous, and your podcast is NEXT LEVEL! The generosity of your guests! I started with Wendy Orr, then skipped to Petronella McGovern, who gave us a masterclass in Page-Turning-writing! Thank you all so much for feeding my writing-soul. Well, must dash, there’s a LIFETIME of interviews to binge on!

Annika JJ ,

Thank you

You ask the real questions that make this podcast always surprising and informative as a writer, there’s always a little nugget of insight, thanks Val

CiciaMisiu ,

Indispensable Resource for Writers

I’ve been listening to this amazing podcast for almost 2 years. Listening to other writers makes me feel like I’m part of the club: the invisible “writer’s club”.

Somehow, I’m allowed to vicariously live through the experiences of other writers. I share in their struggle and successes. And most importantly, I get to learn from their mistakes, which helps me to make less of my own.

Thank you “So You Want to be a Writer” podcast!

Sylvia Dziuba
Australian Author

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