I’ve always been really interested in writing that has a focus on place. I guess this is because I’ve moved around a lot in my life before moving to Parramatta permanently over fifteen years ago.
My first book was a collection of stories, Small Indiscretions: Stories of Travel in Asia (Transit Lounge, 2011). My second book was a young adult novel set in Parramatta, The Incredible Here and Now (Giramondo, 2013), which has won the Prime Minister’s Literature Award (YA) and the IBBY Honour Book for Australia. It has also been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literature Awards, the WA Premier’s Book Awards and The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. I’ve recently turned The Incredible Here and Now into a play which premiered at The National Theatre of Parramatta in July 2017 and was published by Currency Press. My work has been produced for ABC Radio National and ABC television and I’ve also written for journals and newspapers such as Heat, The Age, The Sun Herald, Island, Wet Ink and Award Winning Australian Writing.
My latest book is No More Boats (Giramondo, 2017). I’m vey excited to announce that No More Boats is currently in the running for The Miles Franklin Award.
Here are some essays I wrote on writing for the magazine Southerly Journal: http://southerlyjournal.com.au/tag/felicity-castagna/
I loved being a high school English teacher for several years but I now do a lot of other kinds of teaching. I’ve been employed to administer and participate in writing and community arts projects for organisations such as Arts NSW, WestWords, Express Media, Bankstown Youth Development Services, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Information and Cultural Exchange, Arts Access, Writing NSW and the Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. I also teach writing at Western Sydney University, where I completed a PhD with the Writing and Society Research Centre. I have also served as the Department of Education and Training’s National Ambassador for Literacy Week, as well as being a guest lecturer and teacher at a number of other Australian universities.
I am currently also coordinating a program called Finishing School, which supports the development of women in western Sydney who are writing their first works of fiction or non-fiction. You can find out more about that here.
I’ve always been really interested in writing that has a focus on place. I guess this is because I’ve moved around a lot in my life before moving to Parramatta permanently over fifteen years ago. I was born in Australia but I spent most of my youth living in a lot of different places like all over North America and Asia. I’m really interested in how writing about place can help us understand more about ourselves and where we are. How place can shape people has been a big theme in my writing. I’m also interested in ways to teach reading and writing to students through an emphasis on place.
Here’s an essay I wrote about place and story in Parramatta for The Sydney Review of Books: We Are Here and We Are Significant http://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/we-are-here-and-we-are-significant/
If you’d like to get in touch, please use the Contact Me form on my website.