Australian Writers' Centre CEO Valerie Khoo and bestselling author Allison Tait hosted the biggest party for the So you want to be a writer podcast community. The Block Party Facebook Live event attendees were invited to ask any burning questions they had about all things writing and publishing. With their wealth of knowledge gained through years of industry experience, Val and Al answered them.
Looking dazzling in her party sequins, Val tells the inquisitive community that their first step in achieving their writing goals is to believe in themselves. She explains that this was crucial in accomplishing her dreams in becoming a successful published writer. Val shares her experience and offers the next steps that writers can take to reach their own writing dreams.
This includes continuous learning – that may be challenging yourself to write in various genres when finding your niche, reading widely, or developing your skills through a writing course. When choosing the right course, she warns, make sure you’re talking to the right people who know the course.
Al knows all about the importance of writing courses, she presents many of AWC's couses including our Make Time to Write, Build Your Author Platform and Creative Writing Stage 1 courses. At the party, in her authorial blazer, the author of the Mapmaker Chronicles and Ateban Cipher series gives her tips for managing time and tackling multiple projects all while living a busy lifestyle – or if you’re still juggling your day job.
Both hosts give advice to new writers on how to prioritise their spendings on their writing journey – from choosing to spend on stationery or a course, to budgeting when looking for an editor.
Val and Al reveal their own writing processes and offer alternative approaches for creative, freelance and copywriters. The party hosts give advice on structuring different types of writing – whether it is a novel, short story or article – and reveal the methods of overcoming disjointed scenes and structural issues. Al uncovers how to find the source of errors and inconsistencies in your story and how to iron them out while you’re still writing.
Once you’ve upskilled and finished writing your work, you need to tackle the editing process. Val and Al answer the community’s questions about what to expect when editing and the different stages of the editing process.
Worried you won’t know what to expect then you’ve finished editing? Well, the hosts beautifully sum up pitching and publishing. They explain the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing, and what to do when pitching to a traditional editor or publisher.
Have you been asking similar questions about your writing journey and you couldn’t make it to the Block Party? That’s okay, we recorded it so no one has to miss out on Val and Al’s great advice, tips and tricks. Watch the replay here.
Warning: party footage features adorable cat.