Catherine McKinnon is a researcher in the fields of traditional critical research and creative research, specifically prose and playwriting. Her creative research is diverse and has received commendation from the industry. Her novel, Storyland (2017) was critically acclaimed. Review highlights include: 'Impressive ... a haunting power,' The Australian, June 2017; 'a devastating retelling of man's effect on the land and the native people, and offers a chilling insight into what may come to pass with climate change. Storyland is reminiscent of Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves,' Books+Publishing, March 2017. McKinnon was co-winner of the Griffith Review: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project 111 award in 2015. Her first book, The Nearly Happy Family was published by Penguin in 2008. Her plays have been produced nationally and her short stories, reviews and essays have appeared in Transnational Literature, Text Journal, RealTime, Narrative, SMH, and the Griffith Review.
McKinnon's scholarly research investigates narrative voices, particularly first person narration, both fictional and non-fictional. What do the stories we tell reveal about ourselves and our culture? How do these stories influence or persuade others? Over the last five years she has focused on the environmental and social changes in the Illawarra since first contact. McKinnon's current research investigates climate change and narratives around atomic energies. She is currently researching her new novel, The Great Time, set in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan and New Mexico during World War 2. McKinnon is a founding member of the MECO network. She is also part of the C3P research group and one of the multi-authors of 100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder (Open Humanities Press, 2019).