So You Want To Be A Writer – THE BOOK

You’ve heard the podcast. Now here’s the book!

The ultimate guide to making your writing dreams come true!

Want to write a novel or earn an income as a freelance writer, but not sure how to go about it? Authors Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo – co-hosts of the popular So you want to be a writer podcast – will give you the steps you need to make your dream a reality.

In this book, you’ll discover everything you need to be a successful writer, including how to connect with people who will help your career grow and productivity tips for fitting everything into your already busy life. You’ll also explore how to keep your creative juices flowing and where to find other writers just like you.

This book lays out a blueprint to help you get started and thrive in the world of words. With advice from over 120 writers, you’ll tap into proven wisdom and find the path that will lead YOU to success!

‘Practical, grounded and inspiring. When a thousand voices tell you that you can't, you need a voice to make you believe you can. This book is that voice.’

Candice Fox, #1 New York Times bestselling author

‘So many pro tips in here from working writers. This is like Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans but exclusively for writers. I loved it.’

Tristan Bancks, award-winning children’s author

‘Perfect for the person who wants to write but doesn’t have the confidence or the know-how to start.’

Pamela Hart, award-winning historical fiction author

‘Essential reading for any aspiring writer.’

Graeme Simsion, international bestselling author

‘Val and Al were a godsend to me before I was published, offering a guided tour to the world of publishing that was otherwise closed to me. Their advice is highly, highly recommended.’

Dervla McTiernan, international bestselling author

So you want to be a writer

So you want to be a writer


(Includes free postage within Australia)

So you want to be a writer

So you want to be a writer


(Includes free postage within Australia)


Need to know more? Here’s what to expect

So you want to be a writer.

Chances are you’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Writing is something you did when you were a kid. Or it was one of your best subjects at school.

Perhaps this is something that’s crept up on you, the feeling that writing is something you should be doing, that you need to be doing.

Maybe you’ve even started, secretly opening a document called ‘My novel’ and beginning to write – and then getting nowhere, flummoxed by what to do next. Or maybe you read the weekend papers or your favourite website and think, “I could write something like that!”

If so, you’re in the right place.

Help to achieve your writing goals

This book is designed to help you to take that whisper, that need, that desire to write, and turn it into something practical.

This is not a book about the craft of writing. There are lots and lots of courses and books out there to teach you the skills you need as a writer. Courses about structure, and sentences. Books about hooks and climaxes, plotting and pacing. Workshops on the art of copywriting and on how to get more clients.

We recommend you sign up to those workshops and read those books – as many as you can find – and do those courses. Learn everything you can about the craft of writing.

But be aware that all the writing skills in the world won’t matter if you don’t know what to do with them. They won’t help if you don’t know how to use your talent and knowledge to get you from A (where you are now) to B (the writing career of your dreams).

This book addresses all the other things you need to do to achieve your writing goals.

We won’t tell you how or what to write. But we can tell you how to be a writer.

We’ll look at how to decide what kind of writer you want to be. Where to find ideas, and what to do with them. How to get a book written. How to build a writing business. How to transition into a writing career. And more.

So who are we?

Regular listeners of our top-rating So you want to be a writer podcast will know us well. In fact, with over one million downloads since the podcast began, there are thousands and thousands of listeners out there who know #ValandAl, as we’re known, possibly a little too well!

They’ll know that Valerie Khoo is the founder and CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, the country’s leading centre for writing courses. She has a publishing career stretching over 20-plus years that includes roles as a writer, journalist and editor. Valerie is author of the book Power Stories: The 8 Stories You Must Tell to Build an Epic Business – as well as countless magazine and newspaper articles – and has a no-nonsense approach to the business of writing.

They’ll also know that Val has a penchant for banoffee pie, a menagerie of pets and a singular passion for Jon Bon Jovi. Her Word of the Week segment on the podcast is a highlight (for Val – but not so much for Al…). And more recently, she’s added another string to her bow and is now a visual artist and arts and culture festival curator.

Allison Tait is the internationally published, bestselling author of epic, middle-grade adventure novels: The Fire Star: A Maven & Reeve MysteryThe Mapmaker Chronicles and the Ateban Cipher.

With decades of experience in publishing, both as an editor and a writer, and with two non-fiction books, two ghost-written books and several (unpublished) adult manuscripts to her name, Al’s gone from full-time freelance writer to children’s author, creative writing teacher and in-demand speaker. Our podcast community has listened in as she’s taken that journey.

Her busy family life, writing companion “Procrastipup”, wardrobe of authorial blazers and overriding philosophy of “finish the damn book” also get regular airtime.

We met in 1998 when we were both working for Cleo magazine.

We won’t bore you here with our writing CVs, because this book is not about us.

It’s about you.

Take your dream and turn it into reality

So You Want To Be A Writer is a beginner’s guide for people who want to be writers. Like all good non-fiction books, we’ve broken it into sections so you can dip in and out as needed or read it from start to finish.

We’ll walk you through each stage, from deciding what kind of writer you want to be (don’t laugh, this is a big question!), where to get ideas and how to share your writing dream with other people. We’ll take you through how to get the words written, finding your writing community (and why you need one), harnessing your creativity, how to use technology and the business of being a writer.

We’ve drawn together the best advice we’ve found from our many interviews with some of the world’s most successful writers. You’ll read tips about the writing process, getting the first publishing deal, dealing with editors, writing the book and everything in between, by authors such as Liane Moriarty, Michael Robotham, Nick Earls, Charlotte Wood, Jane Harper, Di Morrissey, Garry Disher, Jaclyn Moriarty, Andy Griffiths, Jackie French, Veronica Roth and more.

Literary authors, commercial fiction authors, non-fiction authors, publishers, agents, crime authors, romance authors, children’s authors, young adult authors, freelance writers, content writers – you name it, we’ve got them, Australian and international.

This is a masterclass in writing and an incredible resource in itself.

So what are you waiting for?

If you want to be a writer, the time to start is now!

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