Biography

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Cathy Ostlere was raised in Winnipeg, Canada. She and her three siblings grew up in an Air Force family moving between Manitoba and Ontario military bases. Her family eventually settled in Winnipeg, the home of her Ukrainian grandparents, where Cathy completed high school and a degree in English at the University of Manitoba.

In her mid-twenties, Cathy began a journey that would take her through sixteen countries in eighteen months. A chance encounter with a sailing crew allowed her to visit thirteen of the Greek islands and cruise the coastline of Turkey. A year later she continued traveling, going east to India, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Upon her return to Canada she settled in Calgary where she’s been an at-home parent for three children as well as a freelance writer. At the age of 33, she took her first creative writing class.

Cathy Ostlere’s first book, LOST: A MEMOIR, began as poems and essays. With the assistance of Sharon Butala, Greg Hollingshead and Edna Alford at the Banff Centre, Roberta Rees at the University of Calgary, and Karen Connelly, of the Humber School of Writing, her essays developed into a memoir.

In 2009, LOST: A MEMOIR was shortlisted for the prestigious Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction.

In 2010, she co-wrote with Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary, LOST: A MEMOIR, a 90-minute one-woman play performed in Calgary and currently touring Canada and the U.S.

Her first novel, KARMA, a verse novel aimed at mature young adults, was released by Penguin in Canada and the U.S. in March 2011. KARMA is a 2012 Canadian Library Honour book, a 2012 Booklist Editor’s Choice, a 2012 South Asia Book Award, Highly Commended Book, City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award shortlisted book, and the winner of the R. Ross Annett Children’s Award - Alberta Literary Award.

She lives in Calgary, Canada.

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