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Open Right

Cath Crowley


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.

Where were you born?

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.

What other jobs have you had?

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.

What themes are recurring in your work?

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.

Where have your works been published?

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.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about education. I think it’s important that students have time to write creatively without the pressure of assessment.



Cath was incredible. She was warm and funny, and during the author talk she had about 90 year 7 and 8 students hanging off her every word. The writers workshop also went really well, and the students she worked with got so much out of it. Cath was generous with her time afterwards too, when she got mobbed by a whole lot of adoring fans who wanted to ask a never-ending stream of questions.

Thanks for all of you assistance in helping us to book her. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

—C. Hawksworth, Bellarine Secondary College, November 2017

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.

—R. Castles, The University High School, August 2017

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.

—S. La Marca, Genazzano College. August 2017

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.

—S. Doomernik, Pascoe Vale Girls College, August 2017

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.

—K. Paterson, Library Services Leader, Star of the Sea College, May 2016

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.

—Year 9 student, Presentation College, February 2016

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.

—Year 9 student, Presentation College, February 2016

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.

—K. Gilbert & S. Barnard, Maribyrnong Library Service, November 2014

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.

—K. Wilmot, Youth Events Officer, City of Casey, November 2012

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.

—S. Robinson, Head of Faculty, Loreto College 2016

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