19 May 2013
Joy’s love for children’s writing began at just 16, with an after school job editing the children’s page at the Manawatu Daily Times. In the mid-1960’s, one of her children had difficulty learning to read. Joy took it upon herself to write stories for him and other children who were struggling with the same difficulties.Some of these stories were published in the New Zealand School Journals and have become well known to almost all Kiwi children.
Although she is known primarily for her children’s fiction, Joy spent some time in the seventies and eighties writing works for adults. Her first novel Nest in a Fallen Tree was turned into a film and had great success in the United States.
Joy’s writing has been acknowledged with many awards and honours including the ‘Margaret Mahy Award’, the ‘Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement’ and various incarnations of the ‘New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards’.
Ms Cowley considers herself first and foremost as wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loves to cook, knit, paint and play the piano as well as spend time with her four children, thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandsons.