Ken Duncum grew up in Rotorua and was a member of Victoria University's 1984 Original Composition Workshop (along with Elizabeth Knox and Jenny Bornholdt). Ken also took Drama Studies papers where he met Rebecca Rodden, with whom he has subsequently collaborated on the short plays, Polythene Pam, Flybaby, True Love, Panic, (written with its performer Petra Massey), and the full length play that cemented their strong Wellington cult following, Jism (1989), which was named Play of the Year by The Dominion.
His other work for screen and stage includes the plays Flipside (Chapman Tripp Award for Production of the Year 2000), Waterloo Sunset and Blue Sky Boys (Best New Zealand Play 1990), as well as scripts for major television shows like Duggan and Coverstory, (Best Script, TV Drama, Film and TV Awards 1997). His industry experience is wide-ranging: he was script editor for Greenstone, script adviser for Tiger Country, storyliner and writer for Mirror Mirror, and was head writer for Willy Nilly. Ken has directed Roger Hall's VSA piece We Must Be Crazy! and two national tours of Too Much Punch For Judy.
In September 2001 Ken was the inaugural recipient of the Michael Hirschfeld Memorial Writing Award.
Ken's play Cherish, winner of 2003 Chapman Tripp award for Best New Zealand Play, was published by VUP in November 2004. This was followed by Plays 1: Small Towns and Sea Horseplay, Flipside, Trick of the Light(2005) and Plays 2 London Calling: Blue Sky Boys, Waterloo Sunset, John I'm Only Dancing (2011).