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Dawson was born in Millville, New Jersey. While attending high school, she was inspired by Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot to become a writer. She also worked for her high school newspaper. She graduated from Bridgeton High School in Bridgeton, New Jersey in 1989.
After high school, she enrolled in Glassboro State College. There, she worked for both the college's newspaper and magazine. While at Glassboro, she also began publishing stories and poems in various publications, including Dan DeBono's Gareth Blackmore's Unusual Tales, Happiness Magazine, Lucidity, Black Bough, and The New Jersey Review of Literature. Dawson graduated from Glassboro State College in 1993.
After graduation, Dawson became a freelance writer for Vineland Journal. Embracing the growing electronic market, she published works with Demonground, Poetrymagazine.com, Sabledrake Magazine, RPG Times, and others. She also joined the International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG) and the Speculative Literature Foundation.
In 2002, Dawson launched Bards and Sages, a small press publisher to promote her own projects, and to offer resources for young writers. The company's first project was a writing contest to benefit the IWWG.
In March 2005, she released the Bards and Sages's first RPG, Neiyar: Land of Heaven and the Abyss. The book, employing the d20 system licensed by Wizards of the Coast, is set on an isolated jungle island ruled over by female priestesses.
Besides publishing a wide variety of electronic content, Dawson's company has an expanding catalog of print books. The first, Bardic Tales and Sage Advice, was released in February 2006 and features the winners of the company's annual writing contest. The Koboldnomicon, a compilation of d20 gaming material involving kobolds, was released in July 2006. Dead Men (and Women) Walking, an anthology of the undead, was released in September 2006.
Dawson has been a resident of Bridgeton, New Jersey.
- "Of Kobolds, Zombies, and Rolling the Dice: Meet Julie Ann Dawson". Oncewritten.com. 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "September and Other Stories by Julie Ann Dawson". bookideas.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Reviews2". Lost Souls Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "September and Other Stories By Julie Ann Dawson". Myshelf.com. 2005-01-28. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- The Compulsive Reader (2010-04-13). "A review of September and Other Stories by Julie Ann Dawson :: The Compulsive Reader :: A Haven for Book Lovers". The Compulsive Reader. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Bards And Sages Quarterly | Julie Ann Dawson | Horror Books". Hellhorror.com. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- Random Musings (2010-07-07). "Interview With Author - Julie Ann Dawson Random Musings | Random Musings". Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- Arney, Pat. "HORROR-FICTION WRITER FOUNDS CREATIVE SOCIETY", The Press of Atlantic City, July 18, 1994. Accessed February 20, 2011. "Julie Ann Dawson, a budding horror-fiction writer and poet, found herself in a "creative void" after she graduated from Rowan College last year. At college she had many opportunities to socialize with fellow creative artists, said the 22-year-old Bridgeton resident, such as the English honor society, the student honors organization, the Literary Forum, and the school magazine, Venue."