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Catherine Austen


Catherine Austen writes books for children and teens, short stories for adults, and reports for corporate clients. Her novels have won the CLA Young Adult Book Award, the Sunburst Award, the QWF Prize for Children’s Literature, and the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award. Her short stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and Write. Catherine is a literacy tutor for Sage Youth, and she edits an annual youth writing anthology, Pot-pourri, for the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association. She lives in Gatineau, Quebec. 

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Walking Backward. Orca Book Publishers, 2009
My Cat Isis, illustrated by Virginie Egger. Kids Can Press, 2011
26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6. Lorimer, 2011
All Good Children. Orca Book Publishers, 2011
28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6. Lorimer, 2014


Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award for All Good Children, 2012
Sunburst Award (YA Category) for All Good Children, 2012
Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (English Fiction) for 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6, 2012-13
QWF Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature for 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6, 2012
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

I offer three presentations to suit the age of the audience:

"Making Up Stories" for JK-grade 4. About how a book is made, from the first idea to the first review. Includes fun facts about ancient Egypt, tips on finding ideas for stories in everyday life, and suggestions for making your own books. With a reading from the picture book, My Cat Isis, and lots of cute cat photos.

"10 Tips for a Fearless Writing Life" for grades 3-8. Everything I've learned about becoming an author summed up in one hour and accompanied by cartoons, memes and fun facts about phobias. Plus cute cat photos. Learn how to spot a good story idea, face years of rejection, and take grammar tips from Yoda. With a reading from the middle-grade comedy, 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6 (performed in a devil voice).

"Writing Aint all That" for grades 7+. About dystopias in life and literature and what writing can and cannot do to help you get through. With a reading from the teen novel,  All Good Children.

Presentation Length:
1 hour
Children's and Teen Fiction
K-3; 3-7; 7-12
Audience size:
up to 100
Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
Two sessions:
One session:
GST applicable