606 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
    • 4.9 • 41 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 606: B.M. Carroll on her latest novel 'One Of Us Is Missing'

    WRITER 606: B.M. Carroll on her latest novel 'One Of Us Is Missing'

    Valerie interviews B.M. Carroll, whose latest thriller, One of Us Is Missing, revolves around a family dealing with a mysterious disappearance of one family member during a concert. The conversation also touches on B.M. Carroll's writing process, character development, and the importance of feedback and rewriting.

    00:00 Introduction and shoutout to AWC graduate Richard Pritchard on this third book01:55 Nat Newman’s writing tips02:50 Words at Dawn writing group05:19 Avoiding info dumps09:32 Book giveaway: Blackwater by Jacqueline Ross15:49 Interview with B. M. Carroll22:44 The creative process and panic23:32 Editing and major rewrites25:59 Timeline of writing and rewriting30:18 Character development and authenticity37:27 Writing routine and word count goals40:09 Name change and genre shift42:35 Top tips for aspiring writers46:34 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.

    • 48 min
    WRITER 605: Amy Hutton on her novels 'Love From Scratch' and 'Sit, Stay Love'.

    WRITER 605: Amy Hutton on her novels 'Love From Scratch' and 'Sit, Stay Love'.

    Amy Hutton, author of Love From Scratch and Sit, Stay, Love. Amy discusses her journey from TV producer to successful romance novelist, the importance of social media presence for authors, and practical tips for aspiring writers. Host Valerie Khoo also chats to author Nat Newman who shares her experience with the Meisner acting technique, and provides valuable advice on dealing with rejection as a writer.

    00:00 Introduction00:46 Deep dive into chapter structure02:43 Nat Newman’s writing tips03:01 Drama workshop insights07:45 Dealing with rejection11:55 Book giveaway: The Silence Factory by Bridget Collins14:56 Word of the week: cynosure16:25 Interview with Amy Hutton, author of Love From Scratch and Sit, Stay, Love27:19 Pitching through virtual literary speed dating27:58 Romance Writers of Australia conference experience29:32 The chaotic offer moment31:06 Working on multiple projects34:31 Developing 'Love From Scratch'39:35 Daily writing routine and discipline42:17 Engaging with social media as an author47:14 Courses and continuous learning51:37 Future plans and traditional publishing53:56 Top tips for aspiring writers56:33 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.

    • 59 min
    WRITER 604: Valerie talks to copywriting guru Bernadette Schwerdt on how she co-wrote entrepreneur Radek Sali’s memoir, 'How to Build a Billion Dollar Business'.

    WRITER 604: Valerie talks to copywriting guru Bernadette Schwerdt on how she co-wrote entrepreneur Radek Sali’s memoir, 'How to Build a Billion Dollar Business'.

    Explore the world of co-writing and collaboration with Radek Sali and Bernadette Schwerdt. They explore the collaborative effort behind writing Radek’s book, How to Build a Billion Dollar Business, discussing challenges, the process of co-writing, the importance of capturing emotional depth in storytelling, and the profound impact of building a purpose-driven business. The episode touches on effective writing strategies, including the importance of starting your day with creative work and offers listeners a chance to win three copies of The Underhistory by Kaaron Warren.

    00:00 Welcome to the podcast & upcoming seminar announcement00:16 Deep dive into writing chapters02:24 Nat Newman's writing tips & personal journey13:29 Win The Underhistory by Kaaron Warren.17:57 Meeting Radek Sali and his co-writer Bernadette Schwerdt21:50 From idea to co-writer22:32 Challenges, editors, and finding the right partner24:02 Bernadette's approach: From manuscript assessment to starting fresh24:57 Crafting the narrative via nterviews, structure, and voice37:01 The business of co-writing: Financials and working with publishers40:08 Insights on co-writing47:38 Reflections and future directions

    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
    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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

Alexstrath1 ,

A dynamic duo here to help you through the writing journey

Valerie and Allison bring you great authors to learn more about the writing journey

Petteri.Harlove.♥ ,

Loving These Podcasts!

I just started listening to this when I saw that you guys interviewed my favorite author! I got sucked in and I am loving all of these podcasts!

Colleen in the Car (USA) ,

Yes, I want to be a writer.

I first tuned into "So You Want To Be A Writer" podcast when my kids were all in high school, and I was spending a lot of time driving them here and there. I listened to Val and Al chit chat about all things writing while I was trying to figure out what I would do when I was no longer driving to this or that. Through their conversations and author interviews, I began to believe that maybe, I too could be a writer. I tuned in every week, sometimes every day trying to catch up on the back catalog, and learned something, sometimes many things, from each episode.
A couple of months ago, I launched my youngest chick out of the nest, and last week, I finished my first manuscript. I'm so grateful to Val and Al for all that they do every week to encourage new writers like me. Their honesty about their experiences and generosity with their knowledge is what helped me get the pages written. No matter where you are in your writing journey, this podcast will enhance the ride.

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