AustLit logo
Eleanor Nilsson Eleanor Nilsson i(A488 works by) (birth name: Eleanor Luke) (a.k.a. Eleanor Ann Nilsson)
Born: Established: 1939 Stirling,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1952
Heritage: Scottish
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Eleanor was the daughter of Murdoch Luke, a minister in the United Free Church of Scotland, and his wife Rose. Born in Stirling, Scotland, she grew up in Dundee and Arbroath. When she was twelve her family moved to Australia and settled in Woodville, SA. Her father died suddenly 16 months later, and the family moved to the newer suburb of Warradale.

Eleanor studied at the University of Adelaide and Adelaide Teachers' College concurrently, gaining a BA Hons and a DipEd. She taught at Plympton High School 1960-61 and then at Adelaide Teachers' College 1962-8. Here she met her husband, Neil. They were married in 1967 and moved to Coromandel Valley. She taught at the SA College of Advanced Education 1971-90 and University of SA 1991-2.

Eleanor had written stories as a child, most of them with tragic endings, but she didn't take up serious writing until she heard Jane Gardam, in Writers' Week, 1982, tell how she hadn't begun writing until she was middle-aged. Since that time Nilsson has written prodigiously. She has been a full-time writer since 1992 . As well as the fiction listed below, she has written a handbook for authors of children's stories, Writing for Children (1992). She was awarded Fellowships from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, Category B 1988, Category A 1993. She is married, with 2 children.

Most Referenced Works

Affiliation Notes

  • Born elsewhere; moved to SA

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Naughty Magpie Camberwell : Puffin , 2005 Z1288587 2005 single work children's fiction children's
2006 nominated Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Best Language Development Book for Lower Primary Children (2003-2013)
y separately published work icon The House Guest Ringwood : Viking , 1991 Z574410 1991 single work novel young adult A teenage boy who robs houses with a group of school friends, forms a strange attachment to an old house and a dog, and unwittingly solves the mystery of a missing boy.
1992 winner CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Older Readers
1996 shortlisted Gold and Silver Pencil Award (Holland)
1992 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Alan Marshall Award for Children's Literature
1992 winner Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Children's Literature Award
y separately published work icon The Black Duck Ringwood : Puffin , 1990 Z871022 1990 single work children's fiction children's
1991 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Younger Readers
Last amended 5 Sep 2011 10:45:28
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: