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Cath Crowley is the author of the Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, Graffiti Moon, Rosie Staples’ Minor Magical Misunderstanding and Words in Deep Blue.
I was born in Melbourne in 1971 but before I started school my family moved to Gippsland. I remember living on a property that was a long way from the town. I read a lot because there wasn’t much else to do. I loved any books about private detectives or adventure – like Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
I didn’t write books straight after high school. I went to uni and studied radio production and literature. I became a teacher and taught English. I travelled overseas. While I was in Europe I wrote letters to my brother, who later turned them into a musical called The Journey Girl. After that I studied professional writing at TAFE. I wrote articles for papers and magazines. Then finally I wrote The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain and switched to being a full-time writer.
The themes of family, friendship and love recur in my work. My books also explore how young people deal with grief and conflict. My book, Graffiti Moon, is about young people on the fringe. They’re artists and outsiders.
I write Young Adult fiction for Pan Macmillan in Australia and Random House in America.
I’ve had articles published in The Age and my short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies such as Picture This 2, published by Pearson.
I’m passionate about education. I think it’s important that students have time to write creatively without the pressure of assessment.
Cath’s workshops were fantastic. They were really well planned and thought out. She has a very engaging personality and works very positively with all students. Her management of each class was great and she managed to get the most reluctant students to participate. I would have her back anytime.
Cath was excellent yesterday.
A very thoughtful, honest and generous talk. Cath spoke with such enthusiasm for her craft and displayed a genuine interest in her young readers.
The girls were thrilled. Word passed around and all of those that missed the event were sorry that they did.
My students loved Cath’s visit! This is what one of them wrote:
“I was not expecting to be so overwhelmed and inspired by this talented woman; the magical person behind the compelling words of an amazing novel “The Life And Times Of Gracie Faltrain” made me feel like I was in charge of the pen and paper, and could write anything I put my mind to.”
I have seen Cath speak several times and she is always fresh, engaging and an inspiration to young writers. I hope that she always has time to visit schools.
I just wanted to let you know that your Graffiti Moon continues to be in our popular listing of fiction titles – and I still receive congratulations and well done’s on how fantastic you were with the girls at assembly.
I know people came up on the day to say well done and thanks – but you really did make an impact and wanted to pass on these followup thanks and congratulations.
Today we got to meet author Cath Crowley. She took us through writing exercises, giving us great ideas for short stories. She also gave us the opportunity to ask her questions and get our Graffiti Moon books signed. I learnt some great writing tips and it was a fantastic experience.
I really enjoyed the Cath Crowley experience! I learnt a lot of new and creative ways to write and how to avoid writers’ block. She answered a lot of my questions about her novel ‘Graffiti Moon’ and showed me the inner workings of her mind. It was a really good experience and it will help me to write in the future.
Cath’s presentation was fantastic. We had a group of teenage fans and adults who all said the session was excellent. Cath has a wonderful way of captivating and inspiring her audience. Her use of images also made the presentation very local and interesting. (We) would definitely have Cath back again.
Cath’s passion for writing is so infectious, and she is very personable and friendly, which made her a fantastic speaker for the event. We were so glad that she could be a part of the evening, and the fact that she took the time to read each of the shortlisted entries prior to the night meant that her speech was extremely personal, with some individual feedback for each of our young writers. Her enthusiasm certainly resonated with the audience, as the feedback we received on the event evaluation forms was overwhelmingly positive – certainly some of the best feedback we’ve had on a speaker.
We’d strongly recommend her to any school or organisation looking for someone to inspire and encourage their young authors.
I am very pleased to report that Cath Crowley’s visit really inspired our girls. Our students thoroughly enjoyed Cath’s genuine presentation of herself and her ideas for constructing character, setting and plot. The workshops offered by Cath were also a hit with many girls coming away with a more confident approach to their own writing.