About the Author

Katherine Johnson AuthorHobart-based writer Katherine Johnson’s first novel, Pescador’s Wake (Fourth Estate 2009), tells the story of the danger and heartbreak of lives at the mercy of the sea during a three-week Southern Ocean chase. It won a HarperCollins Varuna Award in 2007.

Her next manuscript, The Better Son (Ventura Press 2016) is set in northern Tasmania’s caves. It asks: in a family yearning for love but layered with secrets, what is the price of a lie? In 2013, The Better Son (under the working title Kubla) won two prizes in the Tasmanian Literary Awards: the University of Tasmania Prize for an unpublished manuscript by an emerging writer, and the People’s Choice Award. It also received a HarperCollins Varuna Award in 2013. The Better Son was longlisted in the Indie Book Awards 2017. 

http://www.venturapress.com.au/the-better-son-katherine-johnson/

As well as writing fiction, Katherine is a science journalist. She has worked for various agencies including the CSIRO and the Center for International Forestry Research. Her feature articles have appeared in magazines including the World Wildlife Fund-endorsed publication Living Planet, Ecos, Australasian Geo and Australasian Science. Katherine has travelled in Africa, Indonesia, Europe and Alaska and made the journey from Queensland to Tasmania some years back. She lives on a cliff top overlooking the sea with her husband and two children, and is a PhD candidate (creative writing) at the University of Tasmania.

Both Pescador’s Wake and The Better Son received funding assistance from Arts Tasmania.

Invited speaker
  • Sydney Writers’ Festival (Varuna) 2009/2017
  • Eltham New Voices Festival 2009
  • Sounding the Earth Conference (Launceston, Tasmania) 2010
  • Tasmanian Writers’ Festival 2013
  • Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival 2016
Awards
  • Longlisted Indie Book Awards 2017 (for The Better Son)
  • HarperCollins Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2007
    (for Pescador’s Wake, Fourth Estate 2009)
  • HarperCollins Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2013
    (for unpublished manuscript, Kubla)
  • University of Tasmania Prize 2013 – Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013
    (for Kubla, unpublished manuscript award by an emerging writer)
  • People’s Choice Award 2013 – Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013
    (for Kubla, unpublished manuscript award by an emerging writer)
  • Photojournalist of the Year Award, University of Queensland 1992
  • Opening Night (short story) Highly Commended in both the Auswrite 2006
    Short Story Competition (Australia/New Zealand)
    and the Iris Milutinovic Short Story Award 2006 (Fellowship of Australian Writers)
‘From the first pages, this debut novel stands out for its subject matter: deep-sea fishery …The novel balances the sea story and the artistic novel; a different novelist would have swashbuckled, or made more of the crime suspense. Johnson instead draws lives, ordinary people drawn into exceptional circumstance. Like most debuts, it promises much for the next book. Unlike most debuts, it is ambitious and unusual.’ The Sunday Age ‘M’ Supplement, Jan 18, 2009.

‘From the first pages, this debut novel stands out for its subject matter: deep-sea fishery …The novel balances the sea story and the artistic novel; a different novelist would have swashbuckled, or made more of the crime suspense. Johnson instead draws lives, ordinary people drawn into exceptional circumstance. Like most debuts, it promises much for the next book. Unlike most debuts, it is ambitious and unusual.’ The Sunday Age ‘M’ Supplement, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. Pingback: Thank You Tasmania | Karenlee Thompson

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