Estrid Ott was born in Copenhagen, where her father was the director of the daily newspaper Politiken, and her mother was the author Olga Ott, with whom she wrote the epistolary novel Vi tre in 1923. She passed the upper secondary school leaving examination in 1919, became a journalist in 1920, and made her debut in 1919 with Spejderminder. She remained unmarried.
Her interest in scouting and her many long journeys throughout the world are reflected in her long series of popular girls' books, such as Ravna og renerne (N), 1938, which emphasise the free life of girls who without inhibition venture out into the wilderness, and she occasionally also portrays how this conflicts with the role of adult women, such as in Skal – skal ikke (N), 1930, and Kære Chester (N), 1931. Her play De Pokkers Unger, 1945, filmed in 1947, has been read and appreciated by generations of readers.