Jennifer Allen graduated from Appalachian State University in 2002 and received a second degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte the following year. She joined the staff of the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City, North Carolina, in 2005 and completed her master's at UNC-Wilmington in 2008. Allen spent nine years writing and editing at the News-Times before moving to Beaufort in 2014. She served as its public information officer and town clerk. In 2017, Allen came aboard as assistant editor for Coastal Review Online. She has also written for Our State magazine and other regional and statewide publications.