603 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 • 403 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 603: Picture book author Megan Daley on how to nurture your children to become readers.

    WRITER 603: Picture book author Megan Daley on how to nurture your children to become readers.

    Meet Megan Daley, author of The Beehive. Megan talks about her passion for children’s literature, her role as a teacher librarian, and her picture book The Beehive. She also discusses her book Raising Readers, which emphasises the importance of instilling a love of reading in children from a young age and offers practical advice for parents.

    00:00 Welcome to the world of writing and publishing00:22 Unlocking creativity with story seeds03:48 Nat Newman's writing tip07:54 Crafting engaging openings in writing14:58 Megan Daley: A passion for children's literature and bees21:30 The journey from blog to book: Unveiling a love for reading23:01 Empowering reading habits: Tips for parents and educators23:48 A creative approach to encouraging reading29:34 Encouraging savvy teen readers in a digital age32:41 The path to becoming a teacher librarian34:02 From educator to children's book author36:28 Strategies for busy creatives42:34 From writing dreams to picture book reality44:22 A dive into the history of the exclamation mark

    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.

    • 46 min
    WRITER 602: Meet Jo Peck, author of the memoir 'Suddenly Single at Sixty'.

    WRITER 602: Meet Jo Peck, author of the memoir 'Suddenly Single at Sixty'.

    Meet Jo Peck, whose memoir Suddenly Single at Sixty details her journey through divorce and rediscovery. Jo discusses her writing process, the therapeutic value of journalling, the challenges of constructing a memoir , and her inspirations. She also offers advice for writers on being honest in their writing and the importance of self-analysis.

    00:00 Welcome to the podcast & updates02:03 Nat Newman’s writing tip05:15 Crafting secondary characters07:44 Book giveaway: Ghost Cities by Siang Lu10:39 Word of the week: Desultory11:26 Writer in residence: Jo Peck on Suddenly Single at Sixty24:23 The journey of writing a memoir25:58 From school gate to bookshelf29:12 Structuring a memoir34:16 Jo’s writing process38:18 Exploring future writing projects and reflections41:09 Receiving feedback and sharing advice for aspiring writers46:27 Closing thoughts and fun facts

    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.

    • 48 min
    WRITER 601: Meet Deborah Abela, author of 'The Kindness Project', her 29th book!

    WRITER 601: Meet Deborah Abela, author of 'The Kindness Project', her 29th book!

    Meet Deborah Abela, author of The Kindness Project. Deborah is one of Australia’s most beloved children's authors. Her latest middle grade novel is The Kindness Project, which is her 29th book. Recently, she also released the Book of Wondrous Possibilities. While Deb writes mainly in middle grade, she has also written chapter books and picture books, such as Bear in Space and the upcoming No More Room in the Bed. Also hear about 'Words at Dawn', a writing initiative for students of the Australian Writers’ Centre. And your chance to win the novel The Many Lies of Veronica Hawkins.

    00:00 Welcome to the world of writing and publishing01:09 Busting myths about writing for kids02:30 Guest spotlight: Nat Newman's writing tips04:38 Words at dawn: A creative writing initiative15:27 Deborah Abela: A deep dive into middle grade novels27:12 The Kindness Project: From concept to creation29:57 Exploring kindness through storytelling31:38 The creative process and writing in verse32:05 From pitch to publication34:06 Character development and creative inspiration37:55 Rejections and successes in the publishing world39:16 From film to children's books: A career journey43:21 The art of writing across different formats50:51 Engaging with young readers: The importance of school visits55:13 Top tips for aspiring middle grade writers

    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.

    • 59 min
    WRITER 600: Meet Inda Ahmad Zahri, author of 5 picture books.

    WRITER 600: Meet Inda Ahmad Zahri, author of 5 picture books.

    Meet Indah Ahmad Zahri, author of 5 picture books including her latest How To Measure The Ocean. Indah, a doctor turned picture book author, delves into her career transition, the inspiration behind her books, and her advocacy work.

    00:00 Celebrating 600 episodes: A journey of writing and publishing01:19 Upcoming seminar: Mastering action in storytelling03:45 Nat Newman’s writing tips10:40 Book giveaway: The North Wind by Alexandra Warwick13:00 Word of the week: propinquity15:06 Writer in residence: Indah Ahmad Zahri’s multifaceted career24:25 A magical moment at the beach: The power of picture books25:28 From inspiration to authorship: The journey begins26:57 Celebrating diversity and heritage through children's literature29:09 The challenges and joys of writing for children abroad31:44 Embracing new creative ventures33:13 Balancing creativity and parenthood35:07 Exploring new horizons in writing and art41:36 Leveraging courses for creative growth43:36 Top writing tips and a call to action for writers47:18 Closing thoughts and fun facts

    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 599: Becky Holmes on her memoir 'Keanu Reeves Is Not In Love With You'

    WRITER 599: Becky Holmes on her memoir 'Keanu Reeves Is Not In Love With You'

    Introducing Story Seeds! A month’s worth of writing prompts that you get for free. Find out how to get Story Seeds for May. The episode features Becky Holmes, author of Keanu Reeves Is Not In Love With You, a memoir and exploration into online romance scams. Becky shares her journey from opening a Twitter account during lockdown that led to interactions with online scammers, to writing a book that delves deep into the world of romance fraud while intertwining her personal experiences. The episode also includes discussions on writing tips, mental health for writers, and an intriguing conversation about theatre performances.

    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.

    • 59 min
    WRITER 598: Mary Anastasiou, picture book author and managing editor at Five Mile.

    WRITER 598: Mary Anastasiou, picture book author and managing editor at Five Mile.

    Meet Mary Anastasiou, picture book author and managing editor at Five Mile Press, as well as a former creative director at Larrikin House. Mary shares her journey from aspiring writer to influential figure in the children's book industry, highlighting the challenges and rewards of publishing picture books. She discusses the importance of illustrator-author dynamics, how to successfully submit manuscripts, and offers invaluable advice to aspiring authors and illustrators. Additionally, the episode includes insights into the process of creating picture books, from conception to finished product, and touches on the nuances of the publishing industry. Mary also talks about her latest picture book Julius Squeezer.

    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.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
403 Ratings

403 Ratings

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

📖📚✏️Etch ,

Amazing!

I love this podcast so much!!!

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