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Kyle Mewburn
DWRF 2021 writing for children (cropped) Kyle Mewburn.jpg
Born 1963 (age 59–60)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation Writer
Nationality Australian
New Zealander

Kyle Mewburn (born 1963) is an Australian-New Zealand writer whose books have won many prizes and awards. She lives in Millers Flat, Central Otago, writes picture books and junior fiction and is a popular and well-known speaker at schools and literary festivals.

Biography

Kyle Mewburn was born in 1963 in Brisbane, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Business Degree at the Queensland Institute of Technology, then travelled across Europe and the Middle East and settled in New Zealand in 1990.

After working at a variety of jobs including journalist, EFL teacher, Environment Centre manager, dishwasher, interviewer, traffic surveyor, apple-picker, machine operator and Kibbutznik, Mewburn became a full-time writer in 1997. She has always loved writing and sees writing for children as her "dream job". Her favourite book as a child was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, which she loved for its word games and puns, qualities which also appear in her own work.

Kyle was President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) from 2012-2016. She visits schools to speak to students about being a writer and to take workshops and has often appeared at literary festivals such as the New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival at Wānaka in 2016, the Storylines National Children's Writers and Illustrators' Hui in 2017, the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in Tasmania in 2018 and the National Writers Forum in 2018.

After more than 25 years of hiding her true identity, Mewburn told her wife, Marion, she was transgender. With Marion's support, Kyle travelled to Argentina in 2017 to receive facial feminisation surgery. In April 2018, she was a panellist in the inaugural Dunedin Pride Festival and in June 2018, she took part in a series of events for Pride Fest, celebrating International Pride Month, organised by Palmerston North City Library. In 2021 her memoir, Faking It: My life in transition, was published by Penguin.

She has spoken out in favour of the move for a New Zealand children's laureate and the recent decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to change its definition of transgender from being a mental health disorder.

Kyle lives with her wife, Marion (a well-known potter), two cats and 24 chickens, in a self-built house with a grass roof in Millers Flat, Central Otago.

Awards and prizes 

Mewburn's books have been published in 27 countries and won numerous awards including New Zealand Children's Book of the Year with Old Hu-hu in 2010 and a number of Storylines Notable Book Awards. Mewburn won the Joy Cowley Award (presented by Storylines Children's Literature Foundation of New Zealand) in 2005, and won both the Picture Book Category and the Children's Choice Category with Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! at the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Kyle was the University of Otago College of Education / Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence at Otago University in 2011.

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