Hello all writers out there, this is Adair Heitmann sharing hints and tips about building a writer’s bio. Writers often overlook this professional asset in their portfolios. Truth be told, crafting a gripping character in your novel is more exciting than writing your bio. However a well-honed bio may get you farther in your writing career than a spell-binding final chapter.
A writer’s bio is a two-three sentence summary of your professional accomplishments to date. To begin, you’ll want to:
1. Start where you are.
2. Describe what you’ve done, not what you want to do.
3. Update constantly with credits, publications, awards, testimonials.
Include the most important literary accomplishments in your career. If your writing falls into a specialty or niche, work that into the bio. For example, a writer in my Wednesday Writing Critique Group writes essays and memoirs based on growing up in London during World War ll. It makes sense for her to include where she was born and lived.
Another writer in the group didn’t think she had anything to say because she is not yet published. As we asked her questions it turned out she worked for a prestigious radio network in a past career. We exclaimed, “Put that down!” Our animated endorsement of her past, led her to reveal she graduated from The High School of Music and Art in New York City. If I put on my writer’s bio that I graduated from Stamford High School you would yawn and I would have wasted valuable character spaces, but for my writing group member it made sense. That high school is home to many notable alumni and is a litmus test that this writer already passed muster in artistic endeavors. After we fanned the flames of the creative spark she told us she is the editor of a newsletter for a local non-profit organization. From not thinking she had anything to put on her bio, to a unique and fully fleshed out writer’s bio proved the power of a writing critique group’s positive energy.
Writing your bio may not be as easy as you think, but try your hand at it anyway. It’s like writing your resume on Twitter, but your bio has a few more characters.
Until next time, keep on writing!