Cathy Otten is an award-winning British author and journalist formerly reporting for the Independent and Independent on Sunday. Based in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2013, she is best known for her book length investigation into the enslavement of Yezidi women by ISIS, With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State (OR books 2017), 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.”
Cathy writes features and appears regularly on the TV and radio. Her work has featured on CNN, NPR, the BBC, New Yorker.com and in the Guardian. She speaks at Universities and Institutes, most recently at Sheffield Hallam University. In November 2017 she gave a series of lectures in Germany supported by the Heinrich Boll Foundation and the Refugee Council. She received hostile environment training via a grant from the Rory Peck Trust and is a member of the NUJ, the Bureau for Investigative Reporting and the Frontline Freelance Registry. In 2018, Cathy was nominated for the One World Media Print Award for her Guardian Long Read and won the New Voice Award for her coverage of Trump's Muslim ban and the war with ISIS. "Her work spoke to the very best dedication to her craft and her subjects," said the judging panel. She spent spring 2018 in New York as a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good.
With Ash on Their Faces was named one of the New Internationalist's Ten Best Books of December 2017 and was listed among the Best Human Rights Books of 2017. 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