I started my first career as a ballerina dancing with the National Ballet, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and the Danny Diamond Dance Theatre. I also served as alignist and choreographer for the U.S Figure Skating Team in preparation for the Pan American Games (1973), and for the 1976 Olympic Gymnastics team. In 1980 I became too ill with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) to continue dancing. Because I had done a lot of children’s theatre and children’s dance, and I have always enjoyed children’s literature, I turned to writing children’s books for my creative outlet.

But my writing career actually began much earlier than 1980. When I was a young girl, I had two older brothers who took great joy in teasing me.

When I was in the fourth grade, I began keeping journals of the silly things they would say and do. Then I began adding things my pets did. Finally, I began to write down everything I saw and heard every day.



Children’s book author Audrey Penn has been visiting schools in the Washington, D.C. area since 1982. Her lecture series became a national education series in 1989.

This highly acclaimed program has brought Ms. Penn – as author, lecturer, and educator – into the lives of thousands of children from kindergarten through college. In addition to her work in public and private schools, Ms. Penn is a participating author and lecturer at the Kennedy Center’s Very Special Arts Festival, and the Reading is Fundamental program, as well as their spin-off reading and writing programs.






  • 1.How old were you when you started writing?
  • I was in the fourth grade when I began keeping journals. It was one of these journals that I rewrote as an adult that became my first children’s book Happy Apple Told Me
  • 2. Did you always want to be a writer?
  • I always loved to write, but I wanted to be on the stage as either an actress or a ballerina. I got to do both.

  • 3. What’s your favorite part about being an author?
  • I love the fact that I get to work with kids. A lot of times, I get my ideas from talking to children when I visit schools. I try out all of my books on kids before they become published. But I also love to edit and rewrite. After the real work is done and the story is written, I love to go over it a hundred times to make sure every word is just the perfect word for the situation.
  • 4. Do you turn your children into characters?
  • I turn everyone I know and meet into characters. There’s a little bit of everyone I’ve met in all of my stories, just not all at the same time.









Snail Mail

Audrey Penn
The Writing Penn
P.O. Box 1
Olney, MD 20830