Tuesday, 5 July 2016
How to Write a Bio
Always write in the third person. It is the expected form and it is easier to say nice things about another person than to say them about ourselves.
Start by introducing yourself and your writing. Joe Bloggs has had a passion for writing short fiction since leaving school.
Mention your biggest achievements first. If you feel you have none you are probably wrong. All writing activity is an achievement in itself. Jo has entered several writing contests and regularly submits work to her favourite magazines.
Mix up the third person use for variety, sometimes using your name, sometimes he or she.
If you have any relevant qualifications, mention them. An MA in English literature might be more relevant than a swimming certificate, unless of course your story is all about a long distance swimmer.
Include some geography and non-writing interests. These often work well as a closer.
Joe was born in Sicily, but now lives on the Wirral with his wife, Annie and seventeen cats. When not writing he collects antique firearms.
You should save your bio on your hard drive and keep it up to date, because you never know when you might need it again. It’s a good idea to have at least three different lengths of bio, short medium and long, but you should also be prepared to customise each one for specific markets.
Look at other people’s bios. You’ll find them on the back of books, in online magazines; or just google your favourite writers with the word bio after their name. See what works and what doesn’t.
Now go and write one.