Andrews was born in Sussex, England and immigrated to Canada in her 20s. She studied at the University of Reading and the University of Saskatchewan, before becoming a storyteller and author of books for children and young adults.
She was the author of ten books for children and young adults, and collected and adapted traditional folk and fairy tales from around the world. Her books have been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award and the Red Cedar Book Award, and are included in the International Youth Library. She received the Order of Canada in December 2016.
Andrews resided in Lanark, Ontario, with her partner, Jennifer Cayley, and was an avid outdoorswoman and rock climber. She was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 2012, but recovered after treatment. In 2017, she attended her first Pride parade. She died after falling down a flight of stairs on September 2, 2017 at the age of 75.
- Very Last First Time (1985)
- Keri (1996)
- Out of the Everywhere: Tales for a New World (2001)
- Twelve Days of Summer (2005)
- The Auction (2007)
- Stories at the Door (2007)
- Rude Stories (2010)
- When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew (2011)
- The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley (2013)
- To See The Stars (2019) (published posthumously)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Quill and Quire - Jan Andrews, Canadian children’s author and storyteller, dies after a fall