Friday, May 12, 2017

How to Write an Author Biography

(Image from flickr)

Author biographies aren’t standardized and you don't have to feel like you're being attacked. They can be fun to write.

This is to aid you. Take from the information what you will.
Within the last four years, I’ve submitted my writing to roughly 400 magazines, journals, and reviews. On average, short story and poetry journals ask for a brief bio.
This doesn’t mean 100 words or less. Sure, keep it under 100 words unless otherwise noted. I’ve seen guidelines requesting one-sentence bios. It’s very important to read the publisher’s submission guidelines carefully. It gets tiresome, but take my word it’s worth the extra mile because an editor will notice you took the time and cared about their rules.
Creating a bio isn’t difficult if you think of it like a sandwich with layers:
In third person:
· Your name and educational background
· Five or less of your most relevant publications if any
· Where you live and what you do
· Your website or writer page if any
Beforehand in your email, write something personal and include the word count. It’ll act as your cover letter, which you should keep as short and equally friendly and professional as possible:
Dear editor,
My 750-word horror flash, “Killed to Death,” is attached. I love your magazine and recently got a kick out of your publication of Mary Ann Cotton’s “Poisoned 20 Victims.” Thanks for your consideration and dedication to the written word. Bio below as per your guidelines:
Now write your bio in third person (unless it’s your personal one you’ve written somewhere ex: a Facebook group or your website).
First time publication? Make a huge deal about it as your bio.
EX:
Along with a medical degree from Oxford Jack the Ripper has a decade of experience overseeing real life test subjects. This, however, is his first short story about the most sterile way to remove a human heart from a living subject. Prof. Ripper lives in London with his two cats.
Not new to publication bio:
Jack the Ripper has a medical degree from Oxford. He has publications with Hack Lit, Slash Mag, Carved Review, and in Scalpel Journal’s tenth Anthology to name a few. His piece, “The Prostitute That Almost Got Away,” won the Horror of Excellence Award with Bludgeoned to Death Publications and was featured in their first anthology. Professor Ripper lives somewhere in Europe where he kills prostitutes, that is he writesfictional stories about a serial killer. Website: www.scalpelofripper.com
And that’s a bio in under 80 words.
In one sentence:
Jack the Ripper went to Oxford and has publications here and there—check out his website: www.scalpelofripper.com
Now a 6-word bio with the same information: Jack the Ripper’s stories here: www.scalpelofripper.com

Good luck on your journey to publication and as always~

Remember to remember . . .

4 comments:

  1. Wow, I took a writers workshop course at Stanford about a year back where we went over bios and summaries when submitting for publication. I came out of that class more confused and overthinking every single word.

    This is the type of guideline they should be giving out. Brilliantly done, seriously, all of my submission jitters are suddenly at ease.

    With the Greatest Confidence Restored I thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this informative article, I hope you will get most positive response specially for this post. . . .

    แคมฟรอก

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this informative article, I hope you will get most positive response specially for this post. . . .

    แคมฟรอก

    ReplyDelete