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Visiting author Cath Crowley experience


“You are walking along a path, when something falls from the sky behind you…”

by Charlotte Thamm, Year 8 


Earlier this month a selection of Cairns State High School students from Years 7, 8 and 9 were given the opportunity to develop their creative writing skills with the talented author, Cath Crowley

She has written multiple successful novels, including Words in Deep Blue, which received several awards including the Gold Inky Award and Queensland Literary Award for YA. With all this experience up her sleeve, Cath Crowley welcomed the invitation to visit schools in our region including Gordonvale, Mareeba, Malanda and Atherton State High Schools and conduct a ‘Writer’s Workshop’ with young students who have a passion for writing. Having firsthand experience, I can truthfully say the workshop was extremely helpful and beneficial.

Throughout the day, Cath Crowley challenged the students to experiment with many activities which challenged us to think outside of the box. For example, she would display an image and students would have to create a backstory. One of the images she showed was of a woman walking into the ocean, holding a hollow glass sphere with a mysterious substance inside. As you can imagine the possibilities are endless, and we had some wild theories on what the photo meant.

Another writing activity Cath gave us was to create a story based on circumstances she would explain as we wrote. For example, she would say “You are walking along a path, when something falls from the sky beside you. What is it?”, and students would write about their chosen object falling from the sky. To warm up, she also asked that we write down what we thought the opposite of words like dust, sludge and space were, name two things we loved and two things we hated. These questions obviously encouraged us to think creatively, and answers ranged from intergalactic discovery to toasters.

Overall, the day was a great success, and I am certain each student would repeat it in a heartbeat. We are all very excited to put our new skills to the test, and many of us left the workshop feeling very inspired. Thank you, Cath Crowley, and the Cairns Business Liaison Association for supporting this wonderful opportunity.