Tintjournal Logo

Yael Kastel


First Language(s): Hebrew
Second Language(s): English


Yael Kastel is an artist who enjoys stories in all shapes and forms. Currently, she is studying Animation in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She received the Energheia Israel Prize in the short stories category, 2022.


What was your favorite book as a child?

It's difficult to pick one. In retrospect I would say the one I read over and over again was The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It stood out to me. I think I was drawn to how it mixed dream with reality, and as a child who was scared of growing up but also desperate to seem mature, the main theme really spoke to me. I especially recall how strange and dreamy everything felt. Funke's descriptions of Venice, and the many memorable locations of abandoned, crumbling places were so vivid and I could imagine myself being there with the characters.

What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I've always loved coming up with stories and characters, but I was never confident in my writing. I began to write through comics, because I wanted to tell the stories of characters and places I came up with in my drawings. My love for reading inspired me to keep writing, as well as encouragement from another friend whom I began exchanging stories with. The more I wrote, the more confident I became and eventually I realized writing could be a way to express what I could not draw.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

It's not that I haven't done anything adventurous or thrilling — I think perhaps travelling on my own has been a very exciting adventure, for example — but in truth, my most thrilling action was a choice I made to leave a place that was horrid to me, despite the pressure of society and loved ones who advised against it. It might appear insignificant from the outside, but it took time to listen to my heart, and I think it was the bravest, hardest and scariest choice I made, and I don't regret it one bit.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

I find it distracting to listen to music while I read, because it sometimes alters the voice of what the story is trying to tell me. I am not so good at splitting my attention between two things so I try to read in silence when possible. However, when it comes to writing... I owe so much to music for sparking emotions or imagery that would later become a story. When that happens, I try to build a whole playlist around that feeling to define it. Through that process I find it easier to put those abstract feelings and sounds into words.


Short Story
A Wasteland Fugue
Issue Spring '23

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz