Helen Lowe won the inaugural Robbie Burns National Poetry Award in 2003 and was the recipient of a New Zealand Society of Authors/Creative New Zealand award for emerging writer. For Thornspell, she received the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best young adult novel. She received a second Vogel Award as best new talent in the fantasy field.
In addition to her writing life, Helen has a second-dan black belt in aikido and represented her university in the sport of fencing. She lives in a ninety-year-old house with a woodland garden in Christchurch, New Zealand, which she shares with her partner, Andrew, and two cats.