I’m an author of books for children and teens, short stories for adults, and reports for corporate clients. I’ve taught creative writing to aspiring authors of all ages, and I’m an occasional editor and mentor. I’m also an avid reader, an animal-lover, a quilter, a flat-water kayaker, and a mother/ wife/ sister/ friend of many wonderful people.
My favourite things in the world are books and animals. If I had to choose between them, I’d choose animals because they’re alive. Books are not alive, though the best ones feel that way.
Catherine Austen writes for children, teens, and adults. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies including The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and Tesseracts. Her first children’s novel, Walking Backward, was published with Orca in 2009. Her subsequent books include a YA award-winner, All Good Children (Orca), two middle-grade comedies, 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6 (Lorimer) and 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6 (Lorimer), and one unfortunately titled picture-book, My Cat Isis (Kids Can Press). Her new picture book, The Squirrels Stole my Sister, illustrated by Sean Cassidy, is forthcoming with Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
Catherine’s books have won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award, the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s Literature, the Sunburst Award, and the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award. Catherine is a literacy tutor for Sage Youth, a mentor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and an editor of the annual youth-writing anthology, Pot-pourri (Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association). She has given writing workshops and presentations from coast to coast. She is grateful for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Catherine lives in Gatineau, Quebec.