You’ve written a guest blog, article, or short story. You’re ready to submit. Then you see the dreaded words:
“Please include a short bio, no more than thirty-five words.”
Does your brain freeze? Suddenly you can’t remember your name, much less your writing experience. Crafting a compelling bio is an art form many writers struggle with. Writing about yourself is difficult at best, painful at worst.
What to include in your bio to grab readers’ attention? That depends. If you write humor, you might want to add some levity. Carrie Talbott writes tongue-in-cheek with dry humor. This is from her bio.
I’m Carrie. I love Jesus, hate mosquitos, and felt fairly confident I’d never become a #blogger. But I said I’d never wear capris or live in Mexico either, so I’m thinking this might be a good fit.
Her tagline: Jesus follower/Word stringer/Avocado eater
Doesn’t she sound fun? It makes me want to read her blog.
For a more serious bio, here is an example from Camille Eide, author of Wings Like a Dove:
Camille Eide is the award-winning author of poignant, inspirational love stories including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades with her husband and has three adult kids and five grandkids. She loves baking, muscle cars, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.
Here’s one more from James L. Rubart “my friends call me Jim”:
James L. Rubart is a 28 year old trapped in an older man’s body, who loves to water ski and dirt bike with his two grown sons. He’s the bestselling, Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of ten novels, including his latest, The Pages of Her Life.
Whew – That’s a knock-out bio. He’s hit all the main points without it sounding like a list.
So, what to include in your biography?
- Your name. Yes, duh, but important to begin at the beginning
- What you do: writer, speaker, blogger
- Any writing experience
- Awards or recognition, and memberships to professional writing organizations
- A bit about yourself, spouse, kids, pets, and a general idea of where you live
Inspire board president, Robynne Miller, and I cohost a podcast called The Art of Semi Fiction. Here’s the link to our website with examples of two stellar bios: theartofsemifiction.com
However you decide to write your biography, make sure you let a few people read it. They may have insight you hadn’t thought of. It’s also good to have a short bio for blogs and articles, a longer one for your speaking, and still longer one to post on your website.
Have fun with it. Get creative. Try a little humor. Think about something that makes you different. Do you have an unusual hobby? Have you experienced something no one else has? Include that in your bio and you’ll create a compelling story that invites readers to get to know you.
P.S. Just for kicks, I checked out Francine Rivers’ website for her bio. There wasn’t one! I guess once you’ve written as many best sellers as she has, you don’t need a bio.