This answer to a frequently asked question ‘Does EJO appear in her own books?’ has been prepared by Fiona Dyer, (grey text) and Ruth Allen, (green text).
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Before answering this, let me share this lovely description of EJO taken from issue 5 of the Chronicle. It was provided by Edith C and represents a dancer's view of EJO.
The consensus appears to be that the Writing Person was actually EJO. As far as I am aware there is very little description of the WP apart from the following sentence I dug up from AG in Town "the writing person's eyes laughed behind her glasses" (p. 66, AG in Town), although I am open to correction here
The WP's first appearance is in New AG, when Joy & Jen take Maidlin to town - pp. 109-114 - with no description except that she 'sat down rather breathlessly', but quite a lot of conversation. Then (pp. 227-239) quite a bit about her books, and her Camp Fire and them dancing. And pp. 245/6 quite a bit about the technique of writing on the train! In AG Again, p. 84 - where Avice says she dances 'horribly' in response to Jen saying she 'knows her dances' and then on p. 96, 'The Writing Person moved up three chairs and took the one next to [Mary]. Her tunic was brown and she had wrapped a brown knitted coat about her shoulders.' Later she implies that she's older than Mary (whom we already know to be 30) and talks about typing 'a stunt of seventy or eighty thousand words …' (without mentioning that this is a book she's written herself) and her later appearances in the book are all about her dancing - which she says is bad - rather than anything descriptive of herself.
I also greatly enjoy the irony with which EJO makes the WP ask Joy and Jen about events that had happened to the Abbey Girls between Cheltenham and the 'now' of New AG, (p. 228, New AG) when we know she had already written/invented them herself!
The mention of glasses (again I think very unusual in the Abbey books?) is reminiscent of a paragraph in Monica Godfrey's Elsie Jeanette Oxenham and her Books which states "A portrait of Elsie as a young woman showed her with wavy hair parted in the centre, with a plait wound around her head. She had a curiously curly, well defined mouth…She was generally described as being slight in build with big grey eyes behind thick spectacles" (p. 8, Elsie Jeanette Oxenham and her Books).
However, I also think both the dancer's description and that recorded by Monica also fit Mary Dorothy who "was very slight and small, and her brown hair had here and there a gray thread". (p. 48, AG in Town). Certainly the way Mary Dorothy wrote her books was also reminiscent of how EJO said she composed her books.
I am quite sure that in the later books much of Mary's character and habits (including her love of brown) was based on EJO herself. Once EJO had moved away from London (as she causes Mary-Dorothy to do, too) and the Abbey series no longer had contacts with the London scene, it was natural to transfer these properties to Mary - and later on, some to Rachel as well.