Catherine Austen books for young people

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"Her writing cuts straight to the heart."

(The Globe and Mail).


link Learn More About the Author

Yes, I Make School and Library Visits

I love meeting young readers and writers! My fun and candid author presentations and writing workshops have been enjoyed at schools and libraries across the country, and at literacy events including the MASC Young Authors’ and Illustrators’ Conference, The Word on the Street, the Blue Met Children's Festival, TD Children’s Book Week, the Hackmatack Author Tour, Gaspesie Bookfest, and the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival.

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Presentations

For a standard fee, I can come into your school or library to read from one of my books and give an entertaining slide show on everything you ever wanted to know about becoming a writer.

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A happy class of grade 5 students after one of my library presentations.

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

  • “10 Tips for a Fearless Writing Life”

    Get the scoop on what it takes to become an author, summed up in an hour and accompanied by cartoons, memes, and fun facts about phobias. Learn how to spot a good story idea, face years of rejection, and take grammar tips from Yoda. With Q&A throughout and a reading in a devil voice. Adaptable to grades 3-7. One hour.

  • “Making up Stories"

    Virtually meet the cat that helped me write a book about ancient Egypt (the unfortunately-titled, My Cat Isis, illustrated by Virginie Egger). Learn what every writer needs to succeed; explore everyday writing opportunities you couldn’t find 3,000 years ago; and discover how a picture book is made. With ancient Egyptian props, cute cat pictures, Q&A throughout, and a reading of My Cat Isis. Adaptable to grades JK-3. 45-60 minutes.

  • “Writing and Reading Dystopian Fiction”

    Share the joys and heartaches of becoming a writer. Read cruel statistics about the publishing industry and learn to rise above them. Embrace testimonials to the benefit of books as entertainments, lifelines, and blueprints for a better world. Analyze a scene from the first awful draft to the final excellent polish. With tips for teen writers, bad puns, Q&A, and a reading from All Good Children. Adaptable to grades 7 and up. One hour.

Writing Workshops

I also offer writing workshops, up to half a day in length, for class-sized groups of students in grades 4 and up. Workshops can be general (e.g., "Three stages to story writing"), themed (e.g., "Writing humour") or tailored to suit a lesson plan (e.g., "Creating a dystopian hero".)

Funding Assistance

Financial assistance for author visits is available throughout Canada, thanks to the generous support of our governments working with the literary non-profit community.

  • If you are in an Ontario school, you can get financial assistance for an author visit through the Writers in the Schools Program administered by the Writers' Union of Canada.
  • If you're in a Northern Ontario school, assistance to help fund transportation, accommodation, and multiple school visits may be available through the Writers in the Schools Northern Ontario Program.
  • If you're in Quebec at an elementary or secondary school, look me up on the Répertoire des ressources culture-éducation to get help with funding an author visit through the Culture in Schools program of the Quebec Ministry of Education.
  • If you're at a Quebec CEGEP, apply for funding through the Writers in CEGEPs Program administered by the Quebec Writers' Federation.
  • If you'd like a visit to your library, bookstore, or other non-school venue anywhere in Canada, funding assistance could be available from the Canada Council for the Arts through either the National Public Reading Program administered by the Writers' Union of Canada, or through the Writers Out Loud program administered by the Quebec Writers' Federation.

Wherever you may be, if you want me to come join you, feel free to contact me by email to arrange a visit.

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