More Than You Want to Know About Me

I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—Amish Country and home of the best tax-free outlet shopping a bus ticket can buy. I’m not Amish, but when I was 16, an Amish old man made a pass at me. When I told my mom about my gray-bearded suitor, she surmised that given my just-above-the-knee skirt (immodest by 18th century standards) he’d mistaken me for a hooker. (Lord only knows if he was the first or the last man to do so, Amish or otherwise.)

Had I not declined the kind man’s offer to “go on a date,” then who knows. In my 20s, my life might have been more of this…

And less of this…

penny-wrenn-sundae-sermon

The above picture was taken at an afternoon dance party in Harlem, New York called Sundae Sermon. And, let me tell you, I hadn’t lived until I lived in Harlem, where I resided for nearly 15 years. See, growing up in Lancaster, I was one of only a handful of black kids in school. I did the whole black-like-me experience in Atlanta at Spelman College. I began as a biology major, then switched to sociology and finally graduated with a BA in English. After graduation, I worked at a small public relations firm in Atlanta for a year or so before moving to New York City to chase my dream of becoming an accomplished, published writer.

If you look me up on LinkedIn, you will see that I’ve spent the better part of the last 15+ years living that dream. Not only have I been a go-to editor and writer for standout publications like Esquire, Redbook, and Glamour, but I have also served as a spokesperson for O, The Oprah Magazine, TVLand, and VH1, and other brands. In 2015, I was selected by The Limited’s “Leading Looks Like Campaign” which highlighted notable women who are doing great things.

Shortly after leaving NYC in August 2015, I relocated to my hometown— Lancaster, PA. In March 2016, I joined the award-winning NYC-based startup BrandYourself as one of the inaugural team members in their new Lancaster office. In my role as a Brand Strategist, I leverage my skills—as a writer, editorial storyteller, and a brand champion—on behalf of BrandYourself’s VIP clients.

Over the years, I’ve earned numerous accolades. In 2007, I penned “O’s Worst-Case Scenario Handbook” which helped earn an ASME award nomination for O, The Oprah Magazine. The previous year, my contribution to the award-winning domestic violence feature “You Can Save a Woman’s Life, Just By Asking Her How She’s Doing” helped earn Redbook an ASME nod as well. Several of my articles for O have been republished in the books O’s Big Book of Happiness and Dream Big: O’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Life. I’ve also made television and radio appearances on Good Morning AmericaToday, Fox News and The Gayle King Show on XM Satellite Radio.

Now if, after reading all of this, you still want to know more about me, then you’re in luck. Because: I have a blog.