C. McEwen was born at Emu Plains in New South Wales and spent the first year of her life travelling in a caravan driven by her father, Ted Evans, who was a cricketer of some fame. The family eventually settled at Come-By-Chance, on the Namoi River. She was educated at a bush school and lived at Come-By-Chance until she married one of her former school teachers.
From childhood McEwen loved story telling and her numerous brothers and sisters provided a willing audience. When she was about nine years old she won a short story competition, which she said gave her an even greater thrill than her first Bulletin cheque.
McEwen wrote short stories and poems, the majority of which appeared in The Australian Woman's Mirrorand some in The Bulletin. One of her most popular stories was 'The Flood' which demonstrated her deep love of dogs and horses, an interest fostered by a childhood spent riding and hunting with her brothers and father.
McEwen considered herself a Mirror writer, stating that the advent of the Mirror in 1924 seemed to provide her with a niche into which her stories fitted.