Noonan, Diana

Noonan, Diana

In Brief

Diana Noonan is a children's writer. She has published over 100 titles for children, from young adult novels to picture books for learner readers. She has also written for radio, television and film and was writer in residence at the Dunedin College of Education in 1993. Noonan has won several national awards and has had four titles shortlisted for New Zealand children's literature prizes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noonan, Diana (1960 –) is a children's writer who has won numerous awards for her fiction and non-fiction books. She has published over a hundred titles for children, from young adult novels to picture books for learner readers, and for eight years was editor of New Zealand's best known educational resource, the School Journal.

Born in Dunedin, Noonan graduated with a Bachelors degree in English from the University of Otago in 1980, gaining her teaching diploma in 1981. She worked as a secondary school teacher for four years before moving on to full-time writing. She has written for radio, television and film, as well as producing educational reading material and books for children and young adults.

Her first book for children was a young adult novel, The Silent People (1990), and her two most recent young adult readers are, Flight from Ledron (2008), and Win Win! (2008).

In the intervening years of full-time writing Noonan has won several national awards including: 1994 Aim Children's Book Award for Best Junior Fiction for A Dolphin in the Bay (1994); 1995 Aim Children's Book Award for Best Picture Book for The Best Loved Bear (1994); 1997 New Zealand Library and Information Association Award for Non-fiction for I Spy Wildlife (1997); 1998 New Zealand Post Children's Book Award for Non-fiction - jointly with her husband Keith Olsen - for The Know, Sow and Grow Kids' Book of Plants (1998).

In addition to these wins, Diana Noonan has had four titles shortlisted for New Zealand children's literature prizes, and one for the Australian Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature.

Diana Noonan was Writer in Residence at the Dunedin College of Education in 1993, and has twice received writing bursaries from Creative New Zealand. She has been a guest speaker at numerous schools, libraries, conferences and writers' workshops, including many visits as part of the Book Council's Writers in Schools programme.

The Best-Dressed Bear (2002), is the sequel to the award winning The Best-Loved Bear.

Auntie Rosie and the Rabbit (2002) is a fresh and different new baby story which focuses on issues of change and acceptance. Auntie Rosie and the Rabbit was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2003.

The Best Dressed Bear by Elizabeth Fuller and Auntie Rosie and the Rabbit by Christine Ross, both with text by Diana Noonan, were shortlisted for the 2003 LIANZA Russell Clark Award. Both were also listed as 2003 Storylines Notable Picture Books.

WRITERS IN SCHOOLS INFORMATION

Diana Noonan is able to speak to children of all ages as part of the Book Council's Writers in Schools programme. She is happy to speak about being an educational writer, a picture book writer, a writer/illustrator, a teen fiction writer, a non-fiction writer, and a screenwriter/playwright. She can give an introduction and talk, a reading and Q&A session, and a gifted and talented talk. She would prefer to speak to 10-20 students at one time, with a maximum of 40. She is able to travel outside of her region for school visits.

Updated January 2017.