A brief overview of how to write a short writer's bio with examples.
How to Write a Writer's Bio
NOTE: Writers often have multiple bios that can be used on social media profiles, their website, Amazon, author pages, etc. These bios can vary in length. For this article, we are focusing on the short bio which can be used across a variety of applications.
What is a Writer's Bio
A writer's bio is a short paragraph (usually around 150 words) that tells potential readers who you are and why they should read your work. Basically, it's an introduction. It establishes your expertise as a writer, summarizes your accomplishments, and gives an overview of your writing history. A well-written bio will also show enough personality to get the reader curious enough to click on the next thing about you or your writing.
Below are some tips on how to write a bio that will sell you and your writing.
What to Include in Your Writer's Bio
1. Your name and postnominals (The letters that follow a person's last name to indicate, education, qualifications, title of office, etc. They can also represent honorary titles, professional designations, or awards received from an institution.)
2. A personal statement
3. Your writing experience, credentials, accomplishments
4. Published works and awards
5. Your writing specialty or preferred genre
6. Your website, social media links, and contact information
7. Find your voice
Your bio should be short, sweet, and to the point. You are a writer, after all, so no deadwood here.
Name and Post-nominals: Use your name as you want it featured in the realm of your writing and don't forget to add those initials that boost your credentials and show your achievements.
A Personal Statement: Start your bio with a short sentence to show who you are. It could be something like, "A hopeless romantic addicted to unexpected twists and the happy ever after . . ." Or, it could be something highlighting your latest and greatest achievement: "USA Today Bestselling author . . . "
Writing Experience, Credentials, Accomplishments: List your career highlights from achievements and credentials to education, and projects you've completed. Narrow it down to your most important and relevant achievements. And be mindful of the audience your bio is for.
Published Works and Awards: List any published works from your college newspaper to newsletters, columns, poems, short works, etc., along with any awards you have won. If the list is too long, highlight the most important and leave the rest for your About page.
Writing Specialty / Preferred Genre: Here you can brag about any specialties you have as a writer. If you shine at non-fiction state that. If you are an amazing ghostwriter, blog writer, editor, magazine writer, novelist, poetry writer, etc., this is where you share that, and if you are a non-fiction writer include your preferred genre/s.
Website, Social Media, and Contact Info: This is pretty straightforward: If you want people to contact you, make it easy for them. Include your phone number, email address, and anything else that helps people find and contact you. Include your social handles and website, too.
Find Your Voice: Tempting as it may be to write in the first person, the industry-standard taboos this, and recommends writing it in the third person, past tense. Not only does this make it easier to "toot your own horn," it makes it applicable to more audiences. That said, it's up to you. You will always find someone like my husband who prefers a first-person bio, even if it goes against the recommended norm.
The best bios make readers want to find out more about the writer and, read their works. Think about what makes you unique and use it as a hook. If you've held a unique position or achieved any remarkable milestones, these can be valuable leads to hook your reader. I was one of the first girls to ride a bucking animal (a calf) in rodeos, unknowingly opening doors for women from the young age of seven. I have used that tidbit of information as a hook in my business bio when it pertains to women's empowerment.
1. Courtney Milan writes books about carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller.
Courtney pens a weekly newsletter about tea, books, and basically anything and everything else.
Before she started writing romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time. (122 words).
2. Chuck Wendig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, Zer0es/Invasive, Wanderers, and the upcoming Book of Accidents (July 2021). He's also worked in a variety of other formats, including comics, games, film, and television. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his books about writing. He lives in Pennsyltucky with his family. His agent is Stacia Decker, with Dunow, Carlson and Lerner. Terribleminds is his blog. Here he rambles on about writing, parenthood, food, pop culture, and other such shenanigans. It is NSFW and NSFL. (122 words)