Cathy Otten is an award-winning British journalist and author formerly based in Iraq. Her book, With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State, was published in the US by OR books in 2017. It was described by the The Los Angeles Review of Books as: "The best kind of humanist journalism: lucid, transparent, grimly realistic.… (N)o book has covered it better.” When not reporting features for newspapers and magazines, Cathy can be found giving talks at universities and institutes, such as Columbia Journalism School in New York and the Pulitzer Center in Washington DC.
Formerly reporting for the Independent and Independent on Sunday, Cathy is hostile environment trained and a member of the NUJ, the Bureau for Investigative Reporting and the Frontline Freelance Registry. In 2018, Cathy won the One World Media New Voice Award for her Politico and New Yorker coverage of Trump's Muslim ban and the war with ISIS. She was also nominated in the Print category for her Guardian long read. Judges said: "Her work spoke to the very best dedication to her craft and her subjects." In 2018, Cathy was a finalist for the Kurt Schork Memorial Award for courage in journalism and a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. She is currently a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California and a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
With Ash on Their Faces was named one of the New Internationalist's Ten Best Books of December 2017 and the Best Human Rights Books of the year. The London School of Economics called her book "An intense and morally needed chronicle of the Yazidis’ battle for survival, providing evidence for one of the most brutal acts of barbarity of this century and, from this, perhaps leading to something verging on accountability." The Times Correspondent Anthony Loyd wrote: "Otten tells the Yazidis' remarkable story with a deft and detailed hand in this revealing account of suffering, endurance and survival. An essential read for anyone interested in the plight and resilience of one of Iraq's most persecuted minorities."
Contact Cathy at cathyotten [at] gmail [dot] com on twitter @cathyotten