Juno Dawson

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Juno Dawson
BornJames Dawson
(1981-07-10)10 July 1981
Bingley, West Yorkshire
OccupationAuthor, columnist
EducationBingley Grammar School
Alma materBangor University
GenreYoung adult fiction

Juno Dawson is a British writer of young adult fiction and non-fiction, including This Book is Gay, Margot & Me, and The Gender Games.

Life and career[edit]

Juno Dawson was born 10 July 1981[1] as James Dawson in Bradford Royal Infirmary,[2] West Yorkshire, lived in Bingley and was educated at Bingley Grammar School.[3][4] After graduating from Bangor University,[3] she worked as a primary school teacher and later became a PSHE co-ordinator.[5] While working as a teacher, she began writing books aimed at young adults until she became successful enough to leave her job.[6] She wrote a number of young adult fiction books including Hollow Pike and Say Her Name.[7] Her books often feature LGBT people, and Dawson has advocated for other books to feature more prominent LGBT characters.[8]

In 2014, Dawson wrote This Book is Gay, a non-fiction book aiming to be a "manual to all areas of life as an LGBT person."[9] A petition was started to remove the book from a public library in Wasilla, Alaska, with a number of residents criticising the library for stocking it, citing the profanity and sexually explicit text.[10] Dawson responded by saying that the event highlighted how "there is still such small-mindedness and hatred left to contend with."[11] In the same year, she was a recipient of the Queen of Teen award.

In 2015, Dawson came out as a transgender woman, having begun her journey of transitioning 18 months prior, and beginning hormonal transition in early 2016.[7][12] She was signed to write a column in Glamour magazine documenting her experience of transitioning.[13] She represents the LGBT charity Stonewall as a School Role Model.[14] Dawson sat on the judging panel for the 2016 BBC Young Writers' Award.[15]

In 2017, Dawson published The Gender Games, her first book aimed at adults, discussing themes of gender as well as her own life experiences.[6] Television rights to the book were acquired in 2018 by SunnyMarch, the production company founded by Benedict Cumberbatch.[16]

In 2018, it was announced that Dawson would be writing a novel called The Good Doctor, one of the first Doctor Who novels to feature the Thirteenth Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker, released in October.[17][18] She also contributed audio plays for the Big Finish Torchwood range.


In 2014 Dawson won the 'Queen of Teen' award, a biennial prize (discontinued in 2016) for young adult fiction writers.[19]


  • Hollow Pike (2012)
  • Cruel Summer (2013)
  • Being a Boy (2013)
  • Say Her Name (2014)
  • This Book is Gay (2014)
  • Under My Skin (2015)
  • All of the Above (2015)
  • Mind Your Head (2016)
  • Torchwood: The Dollhouse (2016)
  • Spot the Difference - written for World Book Day[20] (2016)
  • Margot & Me (2017)
  • The Gender Games (2017)
  • What is Gender? How Does it Define Us? and Other Big Questions (2017)
  • Grave Matter (2017)
  • Torchwood: Orr (2017)
  • Clean (2018)
  • Doctor Who: The Good Doctor (2018)
  • Meat Market (2019)
  • Proud (2019)


  1. ^ Happy happy birthday
  2. ^ Kay, Adam (2020). "Juno Dawson". Dear NHS 100 Stories to say Thank You. ISBN 978-1-3987-0118-2.
  3. ^ a b Juno Dawson (2017). The Gender Games.
  4. ^ Hogan, Michael (1 April 2018). "Juno Dawson: 'Teenagers have seen things that would make milk curdle'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ Armstrong, Rebecca (20 April 2018). "Juno Dawson on sex education: 'Nobody had thought to tell these young people that sex was pleasurable'". i. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b Taylor, Marianne (28 May 2017). "'Transition is exhausting. No-one does it to be trendy': Author Juno Dawson on her new book The Gender Games". The Herald. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b Williams, Joe (24 October 2015). "International best selling author comes out as transgender". Pink news. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  8. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (24 July 2015). "James Dawson: 'Young Adult literature should celebrate being gay'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Why my book is gay: and I'm proud of it". The Guardian. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  10. ^ Schaub, Michael (25 November 2015). "'This Book Is Gay', an LGBT sex ed book for teens, is challenged in Wasilla, Alaska". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  11. ^ Flood, Alison (26 November 2015). "James Dawson criticises parents who attacked his LGBT guide for children". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  12. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (14 October 2015). "YA author James Dawson: 'I'm becoming a transgender woman'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  13. ^ Duffy, Nick (5 January 2016). "'This Book is Gay' author to document her transition in Glamour". Pink News. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  14. ^ Levine, Nick (31 January 2017). "Juno Dawson on her life, her novel and debunking trans myths". Evening Standard. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Transgender author Juno Dawson joins judging panel for BBC Young Writers' Award". The Telegraph. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (4 June 2018). "Benedict Cumberbatch's SunnyMarch Banner Lands TV Rights to Memoir 'The Gender Games'". Variety. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  17. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (10 May 2018). "Alderman and Dawson to write Doctor Who tales". The Bookseller.
  18. ^ Alderman, Naomi (11 May 2018). "New Doctor Who regenerated in fiction by Juno Dawson and Naomi Alderman". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  19. ^ Eyre, Charlotte (11 February 2016). "The Book People closes Queen of Teen award". The Bookseller. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  20. ^ Auld, Tim (3 March 2016). "World Book Day 2016: which stories to buy with your £1 token". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.

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