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The Sydney Writers’ Centre Story

Valerie Khoo founded the Sydney Writers’ Centre in 2005, with a vision for it to be the kind of buzzing, dynamic and results-focused organisation she wish had existed when she was finding her feet as a writer. It is now Australia’s leading centre for writing training.

Ever since school, Valerie loved writing. She won the school’s English Competition five out of the six years of high school, but never considered writing as a career, and instead studied to become an accountant. Valerie ended up working as an auditor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, working hard to climb the corporate ladder but she knew in her heart she wasn’t passionate about this career. Instead, she dreamt of becoming a successful writer.

The start of a career reinvention

After a few years in the wrong job, Valerie realised she had to do something about it but had no idea how to transition careers. She didn’t know what skills she needed to become a writer, how to acquire them, and no clue about how to break into the industry. She also wasn’t sure if she could start building a new career all over again.

Valerie desperately needed advice on what to do, so she joined writers’ centres and writers’ groups but couldn’t find the answers she was looking for. She took different courses in her spare time, went to seminars and tried to find out as much as she could about the industry. It was a long road but she finally pieced it all together.

Living the dream

Fast-forward to today and Valerie is living her dream, she is now a regularly published writer and author of five books. Valerie works as a feature writer who contributes to some of the biggest publishers in Australia. She has her own column that is syndicated across numerous news sites and is able to meet and interview new people all the time. She’s written countless articles, travelled the world interviewing celebrities ranging from Matt Damon and Cindy Crawford to Britney Spears and Jon Bon Jovi, not to mention corporate leaders and CEOs.

At some point during the journey, the dream changed. Valerie realised how lucky she was to be paid, doing what she absolutely loved but she also remembered the difficulties she had navigating her way there. Her new dream was to develop a resource for people who want to write confidently, get published or dream of becoming a successful writer. To provide a community to inspire and motivate people, and provide practical tools, delivered by the best teachers, to achieve their goals.

The Sydney Writers' Centre

And so, the Sydney Writers’ Centre opened in 2005 with 2 courses. Today it boasts almost 30 courses that are available both face-to-face as well as online, and are presented by some of Australia’s most successful authors, journalists and business communication experts. Thousands of people have graduated from the Sydney Writers’ Centre and it has students from all over Australia, as well as from overseas including the UK, US, Afghanistan, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Netherlands, France, the Ivory Coast and more countries.

Many students are published, get book deals or successfully change careers as a result of the Sydney Writers’ Centre and its no-nonsense, practical approach to training. And these same principles have been applied to business writing and communications to help business owners and employees improve their grammar and punctuation, editing, as well as PR and media, and blogging for business.







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