I have amazing news. In October, I will be spending a week on Whidbey Island – just outside Seattle, Washington, for a week-long Master Class workshop and residency at prestigious Hedgebrook.

Hedgebrook’s strapline is women authoring change. Their mission is to support women writers from all over the world to develop their voices and works, to  raise awareness in a vast range of issues.

Hedgebrook is THE place for me! My goal is to make headway on my next book, Accidentally, with Purpose – the sequel and next step from Accidental Aid Worker.

I submitted applications for a place in both the 2019 residency program and a Master Class residency workshop. Over 1800 applications are received each year for a coveted 40 places in the residency program (successful applicants are advised in December – I’ll let you know if I get in), and places in the week-long Master Class workshops are also hotly contested.

When the email congratulating me for my place in Hope Edelman’s Master Class arrived in my inbox, my excitement leaped off the email and straight onto Facebook. I think I said “Oh my GOD” out loud and all over my (Facebook) wall whilst jumping around the living room, for about three hours.

Being awarded a place at Hedgebrook is a real achievement and an opportunity I will make the most of. I will be joining six other women from around the world for a week on magical Whidbey Island to do exactly what I had wished for – take time out to invest, focus, write and develop Accidentally, with Purpose. 

Working with Hope

One of the reasons why this workshop with Hope Edelman is an important next step for me is that I will be learning how to approach and write stories that are deeply personal. Hope wrote Motherless Daughters, a book that saved my life by helping me relate to and come to terms with my grief and experiences resulting from my mother’s death. Hope’s work was a guide for me in expressing some of those raw and conflicted emotions around loss, in Accidental Aid Worker.  To have the opportunity to thank Hope for her work personally, is one thing. To work with her and learn how to become a more effective writer – quite another!

I am SO excited. Wish me and Accidentally, with Purpose, luck.


Presented by publishing, marketing professionals and self-published authors Sue Liu and Anna Maguire. 

This one-day workshop is for writers aspiring to publish their new works as print copy and ebooks.

Be guided on the importance of:

  • Being business savvy and marketing aware about publishing;
  • How author profile and book identity are crucial for writers;
  • Building your brand and marketing options;
  • Key elements for producing a book and how it helps with marketing, sales and distribution;
  • Funding options to enable you to create a professional publication.

Date:  Saturday 24 June

Time: 10-4pm

Where: Leichhardt Library

Cost:   Free

Limited numbers. Bookings essential at Eventbrite or phone: 9367 9266

Supported by Inner West Library Service & State Library of NSW as part of the indyreads™ pilot program.

Find out more – Sue – Self Pub Leichhardt Workshop Media Release – 16 May 2017


PRESENTERS: Sue Liu and Anna Maguire

Sue Liu is an energetic community leader, business woman and marketing communications consultant with over 24 years’ experience. She self-published her first book, Accidental Aid Worker, in November 2015 and has been recognised by fellow writers, industry experts and readers for her efforts and achievements, as an author.  Sue has also been acknowledged as an emerging voice and one worth listening to in the education sphere. Her approach is from the perspective of the author/self-publisher/business person/marketer. Sue shares her insights, perspectives and experiences to help each writer clarify expectations, hone goals and create strategies, resources and tools to best suit their journey.

Accidental Aid Worker has also been praised by Tom Keneally and Hon Professor Dame Marie Bashir, whose comments feature on the cover of the 3rd reprint edition. For further information about Sue and her work, explore: www.accidentalaidworker.com.au , www.zulucommunications.com.au ,Facebook https://www.facebook.com/accidentalaidworker/, Twitter (@zulu2you) and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/sueliu/

Anna Maguire is a Sydney-based consultant and blogger specialising in digital training and strategy. She advises on digital publishing and crowdfunding through her consultancy Digireado. Anna has worked in book publishing and digital content for 25 years. She is a former head of production and interactive at Random House Australia and is a passionate advocate for digital developments in the book. She is a graduate of the Yale Publishing Course and has appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Anna has trained authors in their digital publishing options for over eight years.

In September 2012 Anna wrote her first book Crowdfund it!. Anna lectures and coordinates the unit Book Production and the Book Publishing Business unit of stud at Sydney University.  Anna blogs (infrequently) on the Digireado website, www.digireado.com.au, and at www.crowdfundit.com.au. She is also on Twitter (@digireado and @crowdfunditnow) and Facebook (facebook.com/digireado and facebook.com/crowdfunditnow/)


About indyreads™ 

indyreads™ is a hosted eContent Management Platform that has been developed by the State Library of NSW to provide library users with access to local publications including digitised local history material as well as purchased ebook titles. The platform allows the Inner West libraries to work with community authors and independent and mid-list publishers to explore ways of making locally important content more readily available to readers.

The industry standard platform has enabled the library service to smoothly integrate ebook content into their catalogue and provide a seamless experience for library members. The hope is that indyreads™ will give communities a greater diversity of local content and help connect writers with their audiences.

The State Library is developing plans to make indyreads™ available in more libraries across NSW and to continue their support of programs for self-publishers.

Find out more – Sue – Self Pub Leichhardt Workshop Media Release – 16 May 2017

8-9 October  – Rosehill Racecourse – 9-4pm

I’ll be at Book Expo Australia – with lots goodies at my first public ‘bookish’ event as an author!
 I’m sharing a space with fellow author, Gabriella Kovac on stall S34 ( 3 stalls along from the bookshop!)

 Keep your eyes out for this poster – and  me of course!!


Book Expo Australia is afacebook-profile-logo dedicated event for national and international publishers and authors to meet and interact with avid book lovers held at The Pavilion, Rosehill Racecourse, James Ruse Drive, Rosehill.

Find out more about the expo, speakers and what’s on at www.bookexpo.com.au

batch_aaw3-book-quotes-squareA few months shy of celebrating the 1st birthday of the release of my book, Accidental Aid Worker, was another occasion to celebrate.

Legendary Australian author, Tom Keneally, and celebrated community advocate and former NSW Governor General, Professor Dame Marie Bashir both provided heartfelt words for me about my precious book. These worlds grace the cover of  the new edition of Accidental Aid Worker, which is now at 3rd reprint.

Professor Bashir kindly launched the edition at an author talk at Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts on 20 September, 2016.  In the company of a community of supporters and  70 keen readers, she spoke about her own experiences in Cambodia, and the power of connection and community, before providing her reflections about my story.


This is the video of the introduction and speech by Professor Bashir.

Part of my brain doesn’t compute that this happened. I’m thankful for the photographic evidence and that their words are immortalised in ink on my new cover. As you can see above, Tom also signed my copy of my book.




Can you guess how many kms?

THE CHALLENGE: Can you guess how many kms Sue will drive on her road trip from Sydney to NSW Riverina, Albury and back to Sydney?Guess the closest kms without going over.

REWARD OPTIONS:  choose one of the following options – value AUD $50

  • receive a signed book – posted anywhere in Australia
  • receive the ebook – and AUD $25 will be contributed to Sue’s girls in Cambodia
  • contribute AUD $50 to Sue’s two girls in Cambodia.


TO ENTER:  The competition opens Monday 6 June at 9am and closes on Saturday 11 June at 9am.

  1. Enter your guess via the contact form on this website. Enter your name, valid email address with the words Competition entry in subject line. In the message please include your guess and your mobile number if in Australia.
  2. You are welcome to post your guesses on the OFFICIAL competition facebook post – however valid entries are via the contact form.   
  3. You may enter from anywhere in the world. Please be aware that by entering with your email address will be subscribed to Zulu2you newsletter, which comes out every so often (and not too much).
  4. The winner will be announced on Facebook and notified also by email on Monday 13 June along with the final odometer reading as verification.
  5. The prize options are not redeemable for cash.

This competition is being run by Sue Liu from Zulu Communications Pty Ltd as a promotion for Sue’s book Accidental Aid Worker. Contributions to the girls in Cambodia are a direct and personal arrangement and not via any other organisation.

If you have any questions about this competition – please send Sue a message via the contact form.

Thanks for playing and following the road trip to the Riverina!

A view to take your breath away – and to admire those fertile gardens!


9 August 2013

Sri Lanka story Part 1:Trincomalee

Just letting the dust settle on my very fast journey to Sri Lanka after a 7 year absence. I returned home 3 weeks ago with a mind swimming full of possiblities for how the future may look for me and my Sri Lankan friends.

As mentioned in the previous post about Cambodia, much of my trip to Sri Lanka forms chapters of my book.Some I have written, many factors I am still mulling over and not sure how to tell my story.

Afterall, the book starts with Sri Lanka in 2004 and my challenge is to craft and weave that story through to today. And it’s not an easy story to tell to be quite honest. The journey of writing down these stories is far harder than I expected.

Reuniting with Bruno and Fr Jeevanadas

Well it was truly a lovely few days in Trincomalee, full of heart, laughter and sharing. The three of us have certainly moved on in our lives since 2006 and it was with great respect that Fr Jeevanadas, Bruno and I shared our stories, our personal journeys that have led us to different places in our lives.

Trincomalee and the people of that town, and the Tsunami is what brought us together for that time in 2005-2006. Returning to Trinco, we are all visitors and those we worked with those years ago have moved on.

Usually behind the scenes – I’m a thrust into the limelight a little more than I am comfortable with. My hope of sneaking into town and having a few discreet meetings is not the way it’s going to pan out. We announced like royalty and greeted like family. We are special guests here, honoured guest there and extraordinary lunches are served, with tea, sweet drinks and iceream treats. This is the overwhelming kindness and generosity of Sri Lankan culture and community.

And, as serendipity would have it – we’ve timed our visit just perfectly and there are some special events and celebrations that mean that Fr Jeevanadas is also re-connecting with the commmunities he served for many years. The school’s leaving do is on and the boys who are graduating from highschool, Fr J has seen right through from the Kindergarten. The girls school where we helped the girls in the ophanage is having it’s grand exhibition day so we are lucky to see all the hardwork, creativity, heart and humour that went into their puppet shows, plays, dioramas, dress-ups and performances.

I am also taken to the tsunami settlements where people are happy to talk about their experiences during and after the tsunami. Hearing their personal stories and finding out about how desperate their lives are today is truly heartbreaking. And it shines a light on some of the reasons why Sri Lankans are taking the risk of getting on boats and leaving for Australia – from Trincomalee.

There’s more to this story than I expected.

A hearty, warm thank you to Fr Jeevanadas Fernando for coming back to Trincomalee and introducing me back into town. Another heart-felt thank you to the Sisters and Fathers who embraced (yet again) this strange girl with the unpronouncable name for a reason they didn’t really understand.

PS: Zue Lio it isn’t – yet that’s ok. You pronouce it “Sooosoooosooo” – same way you do when you are trying to hurry the chickens on. (hurry,hurry).


9 August 2013

I can’t believe I’ve been back for 3 weeks already. I owe AAW an update on my amazing trips to visit my communities in Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Part of my challenge is – that much of this trip forms chapters of my book. So, whilst giving you a taster I hope you’ll forgive me if I save much of the good bits for the “main event” – the publication of Accidental aid worker. Here’s my offering to you about my trip to Cambodia with Sunrise.

CAMBODIA- coming home

This trip back to Sunrise and Cambodia is my 5th in 7 years. It is an honour to be invited back and for me it truly is like coming home. Particularly when Geraldine is home, and we are able to spend some quality time together. Geraldine is not only a dear friend, she is a mentor, gal pal, mother figure and “mother of my children”. We do mix business with pleasure – and how can you not.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I arrived to my Cambodian home, doors flung open wide, as wides as those embracing arms of welcome. Children all around – most familiar to me but bigger than last time – and many new little kids to hug, kiss and tickle.

The table is set for two for a lamb roast by Geraldine. She’s cooking for me because she knows that I’m a single woman with no mother to cook me a roast.  I could barely hold back my tears. Such welcome and care that is sorely missing in my life back at home. And there’s plenty of cooking, caring and sharing over the days as I find comfort in “sisterhood” and understanding by spending time with Geraldine and long-time supporter Tracey. We are like-souled creatures, we know it and see that we bond over our common love for these (many, many) children.

On the first day – I did a MASS cooking activity with about 15 kids in shifts in Geraldine’s kitchen. We made over 150 honey joys which involved 4 large packets of cornflakes, 1kg of butter, honey and sugar. It’s the first time the kids had an opportunity to do anything like this, and I only had to show them once and they were off and running cooking  4 batches! They were a hit! And the kids know that if they want to make them again – they just have to ask Geraldine to go get cornflakes – the BIG BOXES.

The main purpose of visiting during this time was to accompany the 3 Sunrise’s staff and children, coming together for the very first time on an annual trip to the beach at Sihanoukville. There are over 300 of us. You’d expect chaos and mayhem. That was so far from reality.

Amazing organisation, incredibly well behaved children – small to big and excitement to boot, building sand-watts,  banana boating, ducking and diving in the waves, piggy backs for the small and disabled – all under the watchful eyes of staff decked out as lifeguards with whistles – keeping watch over everyone as they swam between “the flags”. The Flags by the way – an Australian flag at one end, Cambodia’s flag at the other.

And resplendent in her signature bright orange cossie, Geraldine was able to do what we all would like to do at the beach – recline, read a book, eat some snacks and watch her brood play and have happy “free time” for these two precious days of the year. It IS a lot of work for the staff ie: it aint no restful holiday.

What I saw, was a BIG family day out Cambodian style. Smiling, relaxed and happy faces in sea and on shore enjoying different food, sights, smells, playing in the sand, getting photos taken, buying trinkets, dancing and playtime –  just as much as the kids. The bonds between children and staff were made and strengthened and everyone had a great time!

Back at Sunrise 1 on the Sunday, there’s music lessons, dance rehearsals, art classes, tennis tuition, swimming lessons, laundry to be done, sweeping and cleaning, rubbish to be collected and homework. Geraldine is busy with last minute packing for an upcoming trip in between trouble shooting issues with misbehaving teenagers, accidents and mishaps, welcoming visitors, supervising electricians and plumbers, mentoring and advising her young adults from outreach house and making decisions about this, that and everything.

It’s busy, and chaotic – “You will have 120 children living under your roof” I said to her at one point. And we just smiled at eachother because, she wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’m so proud be part of THIS family.

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