Valerie Khoo is a journalist and author. She is also the founder and national director of the Australian Writers’ Centre, which has campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Online. She is author of “Power Stories” (Wiley) and has worked for Pacific Magazines, Fairfax and ACP Magazines (now Bauer) in both Sydney and Singapore. She wrote a weekly column for Fairfax for seven years and now contributes to a variety of consumer and corporate publications.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
I’m based in Sydney but spend a lot of time at our centres in Melbourne and Perth too.
Who do you work for?
I’m national director of the Australian Writers’ Centre.
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I started my career as an accountant before moving into public relations and then into full-time journalism about 20 years ago. I founded the Australian Writers’ Centre nine years ago because I could see that the landscape in publishing and writing was going to change dramatically. I wanted to create a centre that would help people make the most of the new opportunities in this area.
What are your career highlights?
As clichéd as this sounds, this is the truth: it’s such a highlight when I open a newspaper or magazine and see the byline of a recently graduated student attached to a brilliantly written article. It means we’ve done our job. Also, it was a highlight to publish my book Power Stories which opened so many new doors for my career. Thanks to the book, I now have additional revenue streams from speaking gigs and consulting work.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
My three dogs and two cats. It’s bedlam in the mornings.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Without a doubt, Michael Lewis, author of books like Flashboys, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, Boomerang, and The New New Thing. He can write about a topic as dry as economics and yet it reads like a page-turning thriller. I not only admire him, I’m in awe.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
I love the fact that there are so many professional, creative and money-making options available to freelancers these days. I’ve always been a fan of the “portfolio career” so I’d love to share my ideas and advice on how to create a healthy income from doing a variety of activities that you love.
Where can we find you?
LinkedIn: Valerie Khoo
Facebook: Valerie Khoo
YouTube: Valerie Khoo