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Kate Walker (1950–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

(Diane Marie Catherine Walker)


Born 1950, in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; Politics: "Independent." Hobbies and other interests: Reading, gardening, film, Tai Chi.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Allen & Unwin, 9 Atchinson St., Sidney, New South Wales 2065, Australia.


Writer and house sitter. Writing teacher at workshops for primary and high-school teachers, beginning 1987. Has worked variously as a waitress, cook, restaurant manager, clerk, cleaner, and offset printer.

Honors Awards

Highly Commended designation, Picture Book Section, Australian Children's Book of the Year, 1981, for Marty Moves to the Country; Australian Children's Book of the Year Honour Book designation, Junior section, 1990, for The Dragon of Mith; Mary Grant Bruce award, 1991, for "Running away to Sea"; highly commended designation, Australian Human Rights Award, New South Wales Premier's Literary Award shortlist, South Australian Literary Award, and Australian Children's Book of the Year Honour designation, Young-Adult section, all 1991, Talking Book of the Year Award, 1992, and American Library Association Notable Book, Best Book for Young Adults, and Best Book for Reluctant Young-Adult Readers designations, all 2003, all for Peter; grants from Literature Board of the Australia Council; several awards for short fiction.



Marty Moves to the Country (picture book), illustrated by Bruce Treloar, Methuen Australia (North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia), 1980.

The Alien Challenger (beginning reader), illustrated by Peter Lewis, Methuen Australia (North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia), 1983.

Suzie and the Pencil-Case Genie (beginning reader), illustrated by Trish Hill, Ashton/Bookshelf, 1988.

The Letters of Rosie O'Brien: A Convict in the Colony of New South Wales, 1804 (beginning reader), illustrated by Paul Borg, Ashton/Bookshelf, 1988.

Tales from the Good Land (beginning reader), illustrated by Gillian Campbell, Ashton/Bookshelf, 1988.

Burying Aunt Renie, (beginning reader), illustrated by Margie Chellew, Nelson, 1989.

The Dragon of Mith (beginning reader), illustrated by Laurie Sharpe, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 1989.

The Frog Who Would Be King (picture book), illustrated by David Cox, Ashton/Bookshelf, 1989.

King Joe of Bogpeat Castle (picture book), illustrated by Margie Chellew, Ashton/Bookshelf, 1989.

The First Easter Rabbit (picture book), illustrated by Marina McAllan, Martin Educational, 1989.

Peter (young-adult novel), Ashton/Omnibus (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 1991, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1993.

Our Excursion (picture book), illustrated by David Cox, Ashton/Omnibus (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1994.

The Flying Pieman (picture book), Moondrake, 1994.

I Hate Books! (beginning reader), illustrated by David Cox, Omnibus Books (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.

Changes, and Other Stories (young adult), Omnibus Books (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.

A Pride of Noses (picture book), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1996.

Elephant's Lunch (beginning reader), illustrated by Ann James, Omnibus Books (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

Sticky Stuff (beginning reader), illustrated by Craig Smith, Omnibus Books (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Mitch 2 Sue (young-adult novel), Omnibus Books (Norwood, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Rethink, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2004.


(With Elaine Argaet) Super Spies of World War I, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

(With Elaine Argaet) Super Spies of World War II, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

(With Elaine Argaet) Spies in History, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

(With Elaine Argaet) Spies and Their Gadgets, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

(With Elaine Argaet) So You Want to Be a Spy, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Australia), 2003.

(With Elaine Argaet) Famous Spy Cases, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2003.


Writing Games, Kate Walker Ink, 1991.

Step by Step Stories, Kate Walker Ink, 1991.

Story Writing the Low Stress Way: A Manual for Primary and High School Teachers, Kate Walker Ink, 1992.

Creativity and Story Writing, Kate Walker Ink, 1993.

Story Writing: Teaching and Tapping Your Subconscious Mind, (manual; for adults), Kate Walker Ink, 1993.

Writing Enrichment, Kate Walker Ink, 1994.

Journal Writing, Kate Walker Ink, 1994.

Bridging the Realms, Walker Publishing (Fish Creek, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

Contributor to numerous anthologies and magazines.


Australian writer Kate Walker held a number of odd jobs before becoming a professional writer, and her varied experiences and imagination had contributed greatly to her stories for children. Among Walker's many books for children are picture books such as The Frog Who Would Be King and A Pride of Noses, and young-adult novels Peter and Mitch 2 Sue. For beginning readers, When a fifteen year old finds his attention shifting from dirt-biking to a gay friend of his older brother, he begins to deal with questions regarding his sexuality in Australian writer Walker's sensitive coming-of-age novel. (Cover photographs by Masakatsu Yamazaki and Shinichiro Okajama/Photonica.)she has also contributed a list of entertaining stories, such as Burying Aunt Renie, I Hate Books, and Sticky Stuff. Sticky Stuff, which recounts the efforts of young Sophie to unstick herself from the sidewalk after stepping in yellow chewing gum, was praised by Resource Links critic Evette Berry as "very engaging and imaginative." In addition to children's fiction, Walker has collaborated with fellow writer Elaine Argaet on the "Spies and Spying" series of nonfiction titles.

Walker once told SATA: "I began writing after a campervan tour of Australia with my husband and daughter, during which I started making up bedtime stories for her. When I came home, I began writing them down and realized I loved it! That was it, I wanted to be a writer.

"I have breakfast, walk the dog, do some Tai Chi, read, and then finally start writing and work from nine in the morning till four in the afternoon. I write my stories in longhand first and will do another three or four drafts in longhand, literally cut-and-pasting the story with a pair of scissors and a roll of sticky tape.

"After four drafts, it's a great mess of paper, written in various colored pens with lots of scratchings-out, and it is almost unreadable. At this point I key it into the computer, get a printout, and start over again—rewriting passages, sticking in new bits, cutting out old ones, until I've turned a neat manuscript into another multicolored mess. I go back to the computer and key in the changes, run off a clean printout, and begin all over again with my scissors, sticky tape, and colored pens. Some stories write themselves in six drafts. Others I chase and change and do battle with over a hundred drafts or more. And I always work on three stories at once so I can skip from one to the other.

"My main interest is people. The crazy things they do, their foolishness, their vulnerability, their great strength and courage, their determination to discover who and what they are. When I teach writing, I feel that's what I'm doing also, showing people a means by which they can take a small part of themselves and project it out and get a glimpse of themselves, maybe even of their spirit."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, October 15, 1988, p. 424; April 15, 1993, p. 1505; March 15, 1994, pp. 1355, 1359, 1361; June 1, 1999, review of Peter, p. 1811; March 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Famous Spy Cases, p. 1187.

Horn Book, July, 1993, p. 467; September, 1993, p. 571.

Junior Bookshelf, October, 1982, p. 180.

Magpies, July, 1995, review of I Hate Books!, p. 23; September, 1995, review of Changes, and Other Stories, p. 35; November, 1998, review of Elephant's Lunch, p. 32; July, 2000, review of Sticky Stuff, p. 37; November, 2003, review of Mitch 2 Sue, p. 45.

Resource Links, February, 2004, Evette Berry, review of Sticky Stuff, p. 6.

School Library Journal, March, 1987, p. 168; September, 1987, p. 133; June, 1993, p. 132.

Times Literary Supplement, July 23, 1982, p. 792.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1993, p. 96.


Kate Walker Home Page, http://www.katewalker.com.au (November 20, 2005).

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