About Me

headshot of Catherine Austen
This is me.

I’m an author of books for children and teens, short stories for adults, and reports for corporate clients. 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.

My third-person Writer’s Bio 

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 two picture books, My Cat Isis, illustrated by Virginie Egger (Kids Can Press), and When the Squirrels Stole my Sister, illustrated by Sean Cassidy (Fitzhenry & Whiteside).

Handsome dog
This is my dog.

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 has been 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.

Read more in My (Writing) Life Story and My Interests and Addictions page.

10 Comments on “About Me

  1. I love ur book Walking Backward! 🙂 I chose 2 write a report on it and i did a biography on u….I also love ur 26 Tips for Surviving grade 6!! I ❤ ur books!! 🙂

    • You have made my day, Sally. I’m so glad you love my books – I will have to keep writing more! That is a very cool thing to think of a student writing a report on my book for school. I love that idea. It makes me want to add some educational components to my website….

    • Wow – thank you, Paula. That is so nice to hear. I sometimes (like always) nag myself for not having accomplished more – which nagging zaps any motivation I might have had. Your outlook is so much better. I’m going to chant that first sentence of yours to myself in the mirror each morning – and then, whoa, there’ll be no stopping me. Thanks so much for popping by.

  2. I really wish that you could come to my school for a presentation, I am working really hard to try and get my principal to try to get you to come. I am really looking forward to the MASC author’s and illustrator’s conference, if I can I will choose to go to your workshop first. Some of your books sound very interesting.

    • Thanks, Caileigh. I do a fun school presentation and I love meeting kids who love to read or write (or just share funny stories). I am looking forward to the MASC conference, too – I hope to meet you in my workshop! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. hi both me and my ex boyfriend have a fear of clocks
    This happens when I see a lot of clocks, old antique clocks are together in one place I’m ok with ticking it’s just when there’s lots of them together
    I have a need to get away from them like a physical revulsion
    I can’t look at them but I can feel them
    It’s such a weird feeling
    I also get this feeling in certain rooms in places I’ve never been before
    All I can say when it happens is, I don’t like it over and over
    Weird huh ? But this is how I feel
    I’ve never told anyone else but yesterday o was in an antique centre and it happened the guy I was with thought I was messing about until he saw the look of terror on my face I know it is irrational

    • You are not the only one, Eileen–and maybe it helps to know that. And yours is not the strangest phobia. (Not that I can think of a stranger one off the top of my head, but newspapers comes close.) At least your clock phobia is very specific and groups of clocks are likely only encountered in stores, so that’s more easily avoided than, say, clock towers, which are feared by some of the other people who’ve commented on this blog. A fondness for antiques might make avoidance difficult for you, alas. Admitting the problem is the first step and, yeah, it’s weird but not something anyone decent would judge you harshly for. I’d say it adds character. 🙂

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