What’s New - June 2015

2015 WGA WordsWorth Teen Writing Camp

Lucky me! - I get to teach for my fourth summer at one of the best teen writing camps in Canada. And I get to do this alongside some outstanding writers including Camp Director – Colin Matty, Derek Beaulieu, Isaac Bond, Lyndsie Bourgon, Kris Demeanor, Marcello Di Cintio, Kim Firmston, Sam Jeffery, Ahmed Knowmadic, Jani Krulc, Marc Herman Lynch, Johnny MacRae, Kim MCCullough, Brendan McLeod, Paul Zits, Sandy Pool, Renée St. Cyr, David Walker, and David Wilson.

This year I’m teaching two courses:


A myth is a story with a purpose – a story that strives to explain the world’s mysteries. Who made the world? Why are humans different from animals? Are we alone in the universe? In Great Myths we will explore five elements from myths around the world: Heroes & Heroines; Gods & Goddesses; Animals & Fabulous Beasts; Sacred Places; and Creation Myths. Bring your knowledge of and curiosity about the stories that have shaped art, religion, technology, and desire throughout human history. Each day we will explore a specific mythological aspect in our own writing.


Every good story has an unforgettable hero or heroine. But great stories often have reluctant protagonists – shy, sensitive, quiet thinkers who are forced to leave their known worlds and complete complicated tasks. Think Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins, Peter Parker and Katniss Everdeen. In The Hero’s Journey we will explore Joseph Campbell’s three elements in the adventure of the hero: the Departure, the Initiation, and the Return. Bring ideas for your reluctant hero and heroine and we will map a journey that will keep your stories full of exciting twists, turns and revelations.

For information or to register go to WordsWorth.

KARMA Book Trailer

This isn’t new but I’ve been slow to put up this gorgeous book trailer made by students of teacher, author and photographer Rina Singh. Wow! Click here.

Karma - Cathy Ostlere

What else I’ve been doing ….


Here is a beautiful film that I worked on with the uber-talented filmmaker Michal Lavi.

Lost - Cathy Ostlere

Watch GLUE here and be amazed.

A new YA novel

In September 2013 I was in Ukraine to research a new YA historical novel set in Odessa. As events in Ukraine develop the novel gets longer… more complicated….

CNFC 2015 Conference - Victoria, B.C. April 24-26

Lost - Cathy Ostlere

I am now the Past President of this fantastic group of writers who met for the 11th Annual CNFC Conference in Victoria in April 2015. Learn more about how we support creative nonfiction writers here.

2014 Vancouver Writer’s Fest

I am thrilled to be moderating two events at the VWF this October.

Event #34 Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 10:00am to 11:30am SECRETS AND LIES with Marthe Jocelyn, Mariko Tamaki and Robert Paul Weston.

Event #68 Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 10:30am to noon THE GERM OF AN IDEA with Lee Henderson, Nancy Lee and Tom Rachman.

For information and tickets go to Vancouver Writers Fest.

Wordfest in Calgary

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, at 8pm at Festival Hall, I will be in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist Hector Tobar. We will be talking about Deep Dark Down, his riveting story of the 33 men who spent 69 days trapped more than 2000 feet underground in Chile’s San Jose Mine in 2010. For more information and tickets go to Wordfest.

LOST: A MEMOIR plays in Montreal

Lost - Cathy Ostlere
Persephone Productions in Montreal, directed by Christopher Moore and featuring Karine Dion in the role of Cathy. The theatre will tour to four venues starting April 5 at John Abbott, April 12 in St. Lambert, April 13 and 14 at Victoria Hall in Westmount, then April 19-21 L’Espace 401, Berri.

KARMA shortlisted for the White Pine Award

Lost - Cathy Ostlere

The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program! This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers eight reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest® helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 250,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Ontarians/Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

Read the entire list here.


Finalist for a 2012 Governor General’s Award

Lost - Cathy Ostlere

The Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the annual literary honour, has announced the nominees for the Governor General’s Awards. Read the full list here.

Read why Calgary is the new hot bed for Canadian drama by Calgary Herald writer Stephen Hunt

Currently Reading

Books to watch for


Lost - Cathy Ostlere

Purchase LOST

LOST is the true story of a woman who travels the world to find a brother only to discover that she was the one who was lost. In September 1995, a family waits for an overseas call that never comes. The silent phone is the start of the search for the author’s 33 year-old brother, David, and his British girlfriend, Sarah, who are sailing from Ireland to the island of Madeira.


Karma - Cathy Ostlere

Karma - Cathy Ostlere

Lost - Cathy Ostlere
Indian edition

Karma - October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in Delhi and for three days Sikh families are targeted and killed in retribution for the Prime Minister’s death. It is into this chaos that fifteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada.


Learn more about the history of the 1984 riots: bbc.co.uk

Watch a student book trailer for KARMA here

Please order from your local independent bookstore or these online retailers:
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.ca
- McNally Robinson
- Chapters / Indigo
- Barnes & Noble
- Monkeyshines - Amazon India

LOST - the play

Lost - Cathy Ostlere

The dramatic one-woman show, based on the memoir, and co-written with Dennis Garnhum, was a finalist for a 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award.

LOST: A MEMOIR, the script, can be purchased from these online retailers:

Contact Cathy

  • EMAIL: author (at) cathy-ostlere.com

Cathy Ostlere

For updates:

My Bio:

Cathy Ostlere writes fiction, cnf, dramas and screenplays. Her nonfiction essays have been shortlisted for National Magazine Awards, Western Magazine Awards, CBC Literary Awards, and Event and Prism creative nonfiction prizes. Her first book, Lost, was shortlisted for the 2009 Edna Staebler Creative Non-fiction Award. Cathy co-adapted Lost into a full-length play, Lost: A Memoir, finalist for the 2012 Governor General Literary Awards. Her novel-in-verse, Karma, has received many national distinctions including a 2012 Alberta Literary Award and a finalist for the 2012 City of Calgary’s W.O. Mitchell Award. Cathy is the Past President of the Creative Nonfiction Collective (CNFC) Society.

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favourite book.” - Marcel Proust