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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Twelve Tips For Your Bio

Writing a bio isn't as hard as you think. Okay, maybe it is, but not if you have an idea of what to put in it. If you're a new writer and getting ready to pitch at a conference, you need a bio. So, here's a handy dandy list of ideas.

Start with your name. I know, basic, right? But someone might be tempted to use JK Rowling's, so I thought I'd mention it.

Write the bio in third person. Put on your PR executive hat. It's easier if you pretend it's someone else you're writing about.

If you've figured out your brand, it's got to be uniquely yours, include it. Another writer branded me early in my career, and because Southern-fried fiction described what I write, I used it.

Have you had some interesting jobs? Use them. I listed mine as "fodder for fiction." Caution: using your college job as laundry assistant, isn't exactly interesting no matter what you found in the hockey team captain's pockets. 

If you don't have any bylines, contest wins (or finals), then use your associations. Think like a doctor. They slap their "Member of ASPS" all over the exam room walls. Use any professional writers association you belong to. "Member of ACFW" etc. shows you're serious about your career. And if you serve on the board of your writers group, list it.

Are you part of a blogging group? Mention it. Blogging means actively writing. Has it won any blogging awards? That's sure worth a mention.

Pooktre Art
Do you have an unusual hobby? Are you a Pooktre artist? List it, especially if your character does the same thing. If you've been a finalist, in the top 3, or been the lucky winner of a contest, include it.

Do you help judge contests? List them.

Always add where people can find you. It also shows that you have an Internet presence. In other words, platform. 

Have more than one version of your bio. I have several or varying lengths. Some include my books, some don't. It depends on where I'm using it. 

Don't forget to edit your bio once you start getting published. And this is why I recommend writing articles for well-known blogs and online magazines. They may not all pay, but if they print your article, it's a publishing credit. 

See? It's not so hard to come up with a bio. Do you have anything unusual in your bio?

Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She's a novelist, a humor columnist, and a multi-published playwright. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, their chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. 

You can find Ane at her website, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.


  1. Ane, great suggestions! Thanks for the valuable info.

  2. Ane, for some reason I never got my membership invitation to the ASQS (American Society of Questionable Docs), although I have lots of other professional memberships and titles from that part of my life. Thanks for the suggestions regarding our writing bio. Hmmm--wonder if there's an American Society of Frustrated Writers?

  3. I mean ASQD--my failure to even get the initials right should qualify me for membership.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


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