How to Write a Terrific Author Bio

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how difficult it can be to write about yourself in a bio—after all, you’re a writer! But I understand it’s not as simple as that, so here are a few tips to make it easier.

  • Write your bio in first person for query letters, third person for most other purposes including proposals, book jackets, article bylines.
  • Make it professional but you also need to convey personality and writing style. Don’t try too hard to be funny, but include something that makes you seem like a real person.
  • What gives you credibility? What makes you interesting? What helps people connect with you? (When you’re on Twitter, Facebook or your blog, what kinds of posts seem to get the most comments?) These are things you can briefly include.
  • If your book centers on something specific—the Civil War, for example—are you a member of a Civil War society? Have you published any articles in historical journals? Include that.
  • Try not to include too much “resumé” type information–education, job history, etc. because it tends to be boring. Only include what’s relevant to the book you’re pitching.
  • As you write a bio, consider carefully the purpose of the bio – who is the audience? Is it agents and editors? Is it your blog readers? Tailor it to this audience.

How to write a bio if you have no publishing credits:

  • If you’re a member of a writers’ organization such as SCBWI, ACFW or ASJA, you can mention it.
  • You can mention if you’re a member of critique group or if you have a degree in literature or writing.
  • Don’t say something like “I’ve been writing stories since I was two years old.”
  • Keep it short and sweet, i.e. “Jane Smith is a fifth grade teacher in Bellingham, Washington, and is a member of RWA.”

A bio for a query letter:

  • For FICTION, if you’re unpublished, it should be one to two sentences—about 50 words or fewer.
  • For NON-FICTION, it should be longer, enough sentences to establish your credits, credentials, and/or platform in the subject matter of your book.

Some tips for the process of writing a bio:

  • Read author bios in a dozen different books. Note what you like and don’t like.
  • Make a list of things you MIGHT want to say about yourself. Try to list 20 to 30 things—don’t self-edit, because you don’t want to leave anything out. Later you can choose the best elements to include.
  • Write two or three bios of different lengths and keep them on file so that you have them ready when you need them.
  • Trade author bios with a writer friend and help each other make them interesting.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Neurotic Workaholic on June 19, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    I like the authors who mention their pets, especially their dogs in their bios. I’m a dog person, and somehow it makes the authors seem more personable when they mention their dogs as well as their family members because they view their pets as family.

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  3. […] If your book centers on something specific—the Civil War, for example—are you a member of a Civil War society? Have you published any articles in historical journals? Include that. Try not to include too much “resumé” type information–education, job history, etc. because it tends to be boring. Only include what’s relevant to the book you’re pitching. (How to Write a Terrific Author Bio) […]

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  7. Tsara on April 11, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Firstly, thank-you for writing this. I wish I’d seen it before publishing my first book! It’s funny how strange and awkward it can feel writing about yourself and your work. I recently wrote a press release for my book and struggled more than I’d have expected. Although I’m so glad I did it. It’s nice to focus on the reasons you and your book are worth writing about!!

    Also, thank-you for inviting us to share our own bios! This is the one that appears on the back of my book.There are things I’d tweak, but I still like it because it truly does represent me.

    “Tsara Shelton is a writer of
    musings, sipper of coffee, and addict of anything story. Having learned
    life while exploring the edges of society, it’s through storytelling she finds her
    footing in the world-as a mom, wife, daughter, and citizen. Tsara, her husband, and their four children live in both Texas and California.”

  8. […] How to Write A Terrific Author Bio by Rachelle Gardner […]

  9. Jim Rudnick on January 7, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    Jim Rudnick – Bio

    Enthralled by the golden age of Science Fiction, Jim has been a reader of same and counts among his SciFi author gods names like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Dick, Serling, Ellison and Chandler.

    And it was this love of SciFi that turned Jim into a new hard-SF short-story writer who has won awards for his work in the past and has recently turned him into a SciFi novelist too.

    Over the past 40 years of Jim’s writing career, he has published 6 non fiction books as well as being a blogger for more than five years but claiming to have written ad copy might be a mistake so we won’t mention his 20+ years of that here.

    Married,with 3 wonderful children, 2 grandsons and a dog named Harley, Jim lives in Canada and owns a gold-plated snow shovel…yes, Jim is truly a Canuck, eh!

  10. Guest on January 4, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    Jane Doe is a Paralegal, freelance writer and author from New York City. The former girlfriend and confidant of a notorious Bonanno Crime Family Underboss, BOUND is Ms. Doe’s personal account of the secret life inside three of New York’s organized crime families.

  11. […] you are, what value your books will bring to their lives, and why they should trust you. An author bio is a good place for this, as well as your […]

  12. S.L. Northey on December 1, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Introduction Cover inside jacket for upcoming book, Good Grieving

    S. L. Northey, a graduate from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. She has worked a career in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, and Long Term Care and Rehabilitation. As an RN she has worked extensively in Neurosurgery, Emergency Rooms in some of the most prestigious hospitals in the United States.

  13. Bwe on November 6, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    Help! I am ready to send my first book off but I’m stuck on this bio…ugh. I don’t have much to add as far as credits. I’ve taken writing classes, wrote and produced several plays, movie but that’s about it. Thanks for your input

  14. Kassie Ritman on May 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Anyone have advice for Author bios for those using pen names (writing memoir or literary non fiction) ?

  15. Yvon on March 2, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    Yvonne Taylor, born with eleven fingers, often asked her mom why she had the extra one removed, as it could have helped her type faster and, possibly, made her all the more efficient in the kitchen. Despite the removal of the extra finger, she went on to pursue her lifelong passion for writing and pours her creativity into short stories, poems, songs and creating tantalizing dishes. She enjoys writing Christian romance, children’s and young adult literature, and futuristic crime stories.

    She was born and raised in Arkansas and educated at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she majored in Criminal Justice and Psychology, with coursework in creating writing and techniques of writing. She began writing her first novel, Inseparable, while working
    as a life skill counselor for mentally challenged adults and children.

    Her first published work is Inseparable, a Christian romance novel, and her first published cookbook is the Madd Batter. Yvonne is a member of
    Scribophile, Writer’s Digest, Authonomy and Writer’s Café. She is a homeschool mom and a dedicated Christian, who feels that nothing in her life is worthy without Christ.

  16. Joyce on February 15, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Thanks Rachelle! I’ve been trying to get started on my bio, and now I know how to make it a good one.

  17. Anand Gautam on January 14, 2014 at 5:18 AM

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  19. […] How To Write A Terrific Author Bio […]

  20. Jeffery Hopper on August 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Great Information, thank you for this post. My first novel releases in Sept, I just recorded a spot for ABC East coast late night talk show, have some radio spots coming and they all want a bio. I want it to be truthful and exciting. I lived a life of crime until the U.S. Marshals and FBI arrested me for armed robbery of casinos in Vegas.

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  23. Aakash12 on June 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    How can an biography can be copyrighted !!
    And is it possible to publish by online?

    And again, is this helps ??
    They said they’ve found the best publishing model. What is it? I am asking everyone !

  24. Healer Andrzej on May 31, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    WRITING BIO SEEMS TO BE EASY BUT IS NOT. Usually I do not know when to stop!

  25. james on May 9, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    James Scott was born in the city of Buffalo New York, 1966.
    Having been brought up as a product of his environment, he ran the streets and
    experienced things that most people his age wouldn’t have been able to endure.
    After spending an enormous amount of time in prison, the result of the life
    that he chose to live, he decided to make a change in his life. He enrolled
    into ITT Technical School and set out to make a difference in his life. He
    resides in Atlanta Georgia writing about his ups and downs.

    • A A on May 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I wish you all the best with your writing and in life generally, James. Well done for keeping your head up! x

  26. […] Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: […]

  27. I V N Vaibhav Reddy on April 4, 2013 at 6:00 AM

    I.V.N. Vaibhav Reddy has been living in India since his birth. He is a freelance writer. He has no previous publications. He has written his first book “Idam Red and The Purdin Shampkare” inspired by his own experiences in his school.

  28. Amy Floyd on April 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    This is the bio from my promotional flier:
    “Amy Floyd has a degree in sociology from Ouachita Baptist University. She and her husband of fifteen years, Mike, live in Conway, Arkansas. There they raise their four sons, ranging in age from toddler to teen. From inspiring an individual to consider his or her purpose to uncovering the value of a flea market find, Amy is most excited when she is surrounded by the images of God’s restorative heart.”
    The book jacket bio is, “Amy Floyd has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Ouachita Baptist University. She and her husband, Mike, live in Conway, Arkansas with their four boys.”
    This first-timer welcomes pointers!

  29. Margaret Piton on March 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I’m puzzled as to how to write a bio for a crime novel when all my extensive publishing credits are nonfiction.
    How is the following?
    Margaret Piton has been a journalist, English teacher and university lecturer in journalism and political science. Russia and crime fiction are among her passions. When not writing, she can be found reading the novels of Martin Cruz Smith and the early work of John Le Carre.

  30. Stephen Gladden on March 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I am not author in the traditional sense, like all you amazing people. But I work for a tech company that wants to evolve into a creative agency with a hardware value prop (today we are known solely as a hardware provider). So, i now blog an write fun eBooks for the company. My boss SAYS he wants to evolve, but continually forces us back into the DRY. Here is my bio. Please provide feedback. Also, i put htis on page 2, right before the main content begins – my boss thinks it should be at the end. Lastly, here is a link to read (and see) the whole thing:

    Trading in his specialist hat for that
    of a generalist, Stephen Gladden has
    become Horizon’s modern marketing
    pundit. Notably known to walk into a
    meeting with nothing more than a box
    of magic markers, he drafts Horizon
    Display’s integrated multi-channel
    marketing strategies – or Gladdy-
    O-Grams as they have come to be
    known. Wading waist deep in touch
    technology for 5 years, he also serves
    the role as leader of Horizon’s creative
    services and software offerings – we let
    him call that Studio 5.

    I appreciate your candor and support!

    • Jen Coken on March 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM


      I like the sense of humor and plays on words you use in your bio. It’s the editor in me but I think it can be pared down and more punchy. I took the liberty of doing so below. Feel free to use, or not. And if you wouldn’t mind giving me feedback on mine, I’d appreciate it!

      Stephen Gladden is Horizon’s modern marketing pundit — known to walk into a
      meeting with nothing more than a box
      of magic markers to draft “Gladdy-O-Grams” — Horizon Display’s integrated multi-channel marketing strategies. Wading waist deep in touch
      technology for the last five years, he also leads Horizon’s creative
      services and software teams – we let
      him call that Studio 5.

  31. Jen Coken on March 19, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    I just finished my first memoir about my journey with my Mom’s death 1.5 years ago from Ovarian cancer. I think I may have been looking at my bio far too long. After reading many of the posts here, this is what I’ve drafted. I do wonder whether it is still too boring. Thank you for your feedback.

    Jennifer is a recovering “political hack” who spent decades getting others elected and winning environmental protection laws. Now she is a voice over actor and sometimes stand-up comedian whose last show “Hot Chicks with Brains” received rave reviews – from the people who attended (mostly her friends and family). When I Die, Take My Panties is Jennifer’s first memoir recounting her journey with her Mom’s eventual death from Ovarian Cancer in 2011. Never bitter but certainly biting Jennifer integrates her experience leading personal growth and development seminars over the last decade with her authentic style of humor, and her own momentous life changes.

  32. Glory Gomez on March 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I’m not really pursuing a career as a writer but I created this for one of the websites I upload my stories on.

    “I am a stay-at-home mom who enjoys writing in her spare time. I write about a variety of topics but my personal favorite is fantasy. I love expressing myself through creative means such as writing, singing, and drawing. When I’m not composing any self-proclaimed masterpieces, I enjoy spending time with my cat, playing video games or getting some much needed sleep.”

    I like it but I feel like it could be better. English isn’t my first language and I constantly feel like I write things wrong.
    Anyway, feedback is very appreciated.

  33. Alana Terry on February 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Thanks for the advice, Rachelle. It’s good to know we don’t need to include that we’ve been writing since kindergarten! Tis is my author bio for “What, No Sushi?” – a kids fiction book about the Japanese-American internment:

    “In addition to the Solar-Powered Time Machine series and her hands-on unit studies for homeschoolers, Alana has published A Boy Named Silas: The First Five Years, the true story of her second son’s complicated medical history. She also writes Christian fiction and was recently named a finalist in the Women of Faith’s writing contest.
    Like Lake, Benson, and O’Malley’s mother, Alana is half-Japanese. She can’t make sushi as well as her grandmother, but she sure loves to eat it!”

  34. David Young on February 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Hi, I’m hoping that this thread is still active, because otherwise my post will never be read. This makes me sad! Anyway, here is my author bio. I would appreciate all comments.

    Although, no negative ones, please. That would also make me sad…

    David Young and Daniel Park are authors from Wakefield, West Yorkshire. During a chance meeting aboard the 8.05 to Leeds (calling at Outwood), the inevitable delays led both to a mutual desire to inflict their wicked sense of humour on the world and an ever-increasing word-count. Daniel has had articles published in the PCS internal magazine and David was a local correspondent for the Wakefield Express.

    • Daniel on February 16, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Very Good!

  35. Jean Rosenow on January 26, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Oh, I’m so very glad I discovered this site. After a young professional friend in his twenties gave his honest opinion regarding my website, I decided to scratch the whole thing and start over. I’ve agonized over a bio for the new and improved web presence, and discovered some great ideas here. My life has been a bit eclectic and it’s difficult to know what might be appropriate and what is of interest to no one but me. Your posts have been very helpful. Hopefully, the website will be up and running again soon, although I still hold firm with my original opinion that Go Daddy’s ‘Website Tonight’ is a gross misnomer…to the computer inept like myself, ‘Website Eventually’ would work much better. Thanks to all of you…especially you, Rachelle.

  36. Carol J. Martin on January 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Carol J. Martin is a veteran blogger and inspirational writer/speaker. She resides in Arkansas City, KS, with her husband, Steve, and five very spoiled cats. Her blog, Female in Motion, can be found at

  37. Sandra McMillen on January 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Hello – thanks for the opportunity to submit a BIO for my book and website. I’m publishing my first book of travel adventures and stories that my husband and I have experienced. The stories and heartfelt and often entertaining, but also provide helpful travel tips and ideas for traveling on a budget. Here is my sample bio:

    Like most writers, Sandy McMillen leads a triple life. By day she is a training development manager for a large telecommunications company, by night a wife and companion to her husband Tom, the mother of four grown children, and the grandmother of the most exceptionally beautiful little girl on the planet. At night and on the weekends, she writes stories chronicling the many travel adventures she and her husband Tom have experienced. Her stories are genuine and heartfelt, as she captures the touching, informative and humorous perspectives of traveling throughout the world.

    Sandy was raised in Colorado where she and Tom still live today. She holds a Masters Degree in Adult Education from Colorado Christian University and has always enjoyed authoring short stories, poems, travel essay collections and articles and personal journals. She and Tom love to travel the world, experiencing new places and meeting new friends wherever they go. As soon as one trip is over, they are immediately planning and researching their next destination, looking forward to experiencing yet another extraordinary adventure. Extraordinary Travels of an Ordinary Couple is her first publication.

    • Jen Coken on March 19, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      I really like the 2nd paragraph. I’m not an expert by any means, but I wonder if that paragraph is simply enough for the bio?

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  39. Amber on January 9, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Thank you so much for this informative blog! I am a novice when it comes to writing, and I’m finding it very intimidating. My novel is a fiction based on my life, I don’t want to offend my family by writing it as an autobio so I’m changing names and embellishing some memories. Any thought on my bio would be greatly appreciated!

    *Amber Miller lives in Southeast Ohio with her husband and their three children. They attend a small church in a small town in the country, where they worship and glorify The Lord. When she’s not writing or taking care of her family, Amber is sings on the worship team of their church and is an avid photographer. God and her family are the most important people in her life. She wrote “Restoring Lily” to help other survivors of child sexual abuse face their past and become the person God made them to be.

  40. Ayesha Sadaf Kamal on January 8, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Thanks for the useful post Rachelle!I’ve been following your blog since quite a while, and it helped me understand the entire publishing process. This bio is for Romance fiction, I’m a first timer. Please share your thoughts! Thanks!

    Ayesha Sadaf Kamal is a software engineer turned copywriter. She is a Space Cadet, a dreamer and proud mother of one. Freelancing as a copywriter for a living, she is a hopeless romantic at heart. She puts her passion, love, joys and sorrows into her words and hopes that her readers feel the same joy that she does when writing romance.

    • Amber on January 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      This is a great bio! Good luck with all you do!

  41. Philippa Okeke on January 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Hello, this is for a 50-100 word biography for a writing competition. Thanks for your feedback 🙂

    Philippa Joy Okeke is passionate about communicating with children. When she isn’t teaching, tutoring or being a mum, she uses her remaining few minutes to write rhyming picture books, poems and educational materials. This year she hopes to learn to drive and create a website. She is looking forward to the day her first story is printed.

  42. chad on December 23, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    In a cover/query letter how does one handle a pseudonym? Assuming it’s for fiction the bio could be as false as the pen name.

  43. Navdeep Kaur on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing…I remember how hard it was to write my contributors notes for a literary journal I am being published in. I could have written a new short story in the time I spent mulling over my bio.

  44. Fingers on December 8, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Joshua Ratcliffe woke up one day in a sunny northern state of Australia and decided to become a chef, he was successful for ten years until he got bored.
    He calls a spade a spade, which is not always conducive to life or relationship preservation when he stomping about in the jungles of Papua New Guinea for a multinational corporation, wearing cowboy boots and looking for some sort of edge on life.
    This melange of life choices and ideas strangely is supported by a wife and young son.
    Not concerned with staving off the onset of DVT he has been known to put fingers to keyboard during those long slow hours aboard the one hundred plus flights per year, in an attempt to show who ever will listen what it is really like to run head first down a path so rarely travelled.

  45. Stephanie on December 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Hello, I have a quick bio that needs some review. I am just one chapter in a collaborative book and wrote my own bio. Any feedback would be great as this will be published this month and I have never written one before. Maximum 120 words. Thanks.

    Stephanie lives in Hood River where she enjoys to mountain and road bike, ski, swim, practice yoga, hike, and paddle. She loves to cook, enjoy wine and microbrews, indulging in the tasty gifts of mother nature. By her side is her sweet dog, Hannah Bear, an amazing group of friends, and a supportive family. She is an advocate for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and community health and believes in physical and food-based healing. Currently, she is chasing the dream of becoming a prominent physical therapist, working towards the incorporation of movement into treatment plans for neurological conditions. In the meantime, she is an active community member holding movement workshops on the Pilates method and raising money to support non-profits. If you have any questions or comments for Stephanie and her work, you may contact her at

  46. Carla Feller on December 6, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    I have a question about writing an Author Bio. I’m writing (mostly finishing and tweeking) my first novel, which is a modern day supernatural/fantasy, and am having trouble in what to put into the bio. I’m not an accomplished writer, or even a member of any groups. (although i am a winner for this year’s NANOWRIMO with the novel i’m finishing.)

    I’m a 25 year old college graduate who is going back to school for something other than writing. I want to catch my potential readers and publishers attention, without sounding too boring or dry. I’m thinking of writing something like this:

    Carla Feller was born in Western New York and has had a passion for writing and reading since high school. A 2012 National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) winner, and college graduate, Carla is making her first appearance as an author.

  47. JoAnn Smith Ainsworth on December 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    When author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal suspense novels. Believing it’s never too late to create your dream, she resurrected a desire to write when in retirement. Her debut medieval romantic suspense novels, MATILDA’S SONG and OUT OF THE DARK, received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews. She recently sold two historical western romance manuscripts to Whiskey Creek Press, Casper, WY. The novels will be released next summer. JoAnn’s agent is currently marketing a paranormal suspense series.

    Among JoAnn’s achievements are: Chief Clerk of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee; a 3 1/2 -mo. trip around the world; B.A. English/Social Science, M.A.T. English/ESL and M.B A. studies; and database administrator for an international law firm. But she’s most proud of becoming an author as a senior citizen.

    Visit her website at Follow her on Facebook. Peek in on her life as an author via Twitter.

  48. Lisa on November 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I wrote an example what I may write for my Author Bio for a book that I am about to publish soon. The book is a drama by the way. I haven’t figured out what to write and still working on it.

    I’m a Chemist that loves to write dramatic stories with a hint of humor. What truly got me into writing are my imagination and my interest in the medical field. Instead of being the doctor that I dreamed about, I wrote it. For more info about me and my work, you may go to my website at: (Still working on it.)

  49. Nadine Lalonde on October 30, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    My name is Nadine Lalonde, a single mother of two teenagers. I felt the urge to write after losing a friend on 9-11. I conveyed my emotion in a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star and it was published. Since then, I have dabbled in writing plays and technical documents. After being diagnosed with a chronic illness that required a drastic decrease in social activity, I decided that I could either spend my free time watching TV, reading a book that someone else wrote, or use my own imagination and write my own book. My imagination took over…

  50. Kat Buck on October 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    How does this sound for a mini bio to go to a publisher?

    Kat Buck is a lover of words and the art of storytelling. She is the writer of popular travel blog “The Amazing Adventures of Travelling Kat” which aims to give her readers an eventful and inspiring back seat trip around the world.

    She is her Granddaddy’s girl; a happy adventurer with an ambition to see as many countries as she can. Kat laughs her way around the globe looking for inspiration and gets in a whole heap of trouble along the way.

    Oh, and she once walked the Great Wall of China in a pair of high heels. Don’t ask!

  51. Raleigh Youker on October 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Appreciate it!

  52. Johnny Helmstetler on October 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I am a new author about to publish my first scifi/fantasy novel. Here is the first draft of my author bio… feedback would be appreciated!

    Johnny Helmstetler was born in Roswell, NM (yes, where the aliens crashed… allegedly) which has inspired the tall tales of his imagination since childhood. He has a 15 year old son, Isaac, who is both the joy of his life and the thorn in his side.

  53. Norlita Brown on October 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Norlita Brown, a Detroit native, holds a BA in English from Georgia State University. She is the co-founder of Brown Essence, Inc., a small publishing company that has set out to put a realistic face on the problems in the African American community. With six authors and eight books within three years, they are hoping to become a household name in the literary industry.

    Brown is the co-author of Stages, a self-motivational book filled with inspirational words of wisdom; Saying Nothing, Writing Everything and The Minds’ Chaotic Episodes, collections of poetry where the many emotions of life are captured. She has also released two novels, Somebody Else’s Vows which poses the question of whether or not marriage vows come with a turn off valve for other attractions and its sequel Sexual Suicide which explores the consequences that come from not adhering to the turn off valve. In April, 2012, Brown has now unleashed her purpose as she has obediently released a work that God ordained. Destroying the Mask is a collection of short stories that explores the detriments parents often bring to their children through abuse and neglect. Brown has now penned her first short story to be included in an anthology brought together by Kendra Norman-Bellamy entitled, Love Said Not So with an expected release date of July 2012.

    With much to say, Brown plans to continue writing, with the hope that through her work readers may find something entertaining, enlightening or purposeful. “It doesn’t matter which,” she admits as she believes her writing is much more than just words on paper.

    Brown served as the first Vice-President and founding member of a faith based writer’s group, M-PACT (Motivated Pens and Creative Thoughts) founded and led by national best-selling author, Kendra Norman-Bellamy. She is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

    For more information on Norlita Brown and her products please visit,

  54. Prattle On, Boyo on September 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Good tip. Keeping it simple can apply to pretty much anything and still have favorable results.

  55. Sue York on September 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Was going to post my bio here but after reading a few of these and then re-reading mine, I think I may have to work on it some more.

    Thank you to all who have posted theirs and for the feed back they received. Gives great insight for someone who needs to work on their own bio.

  56. […] the end of the journal, so think about what you’d like listed at the back. You can read some sample bios here, or look at some journals to see what other writers have to say about […]

  57. Kat Collins on September 17, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Here’s a bio I used recently for a literary and visual arts review (hence it focused more on my artistic abilities than writing for cred). I’m not crazy about it and would love suggestions to change it to more of a writer’s bio. It’s also too long, I think.

    Kat Collins is a writer, blogger at, and visual artist with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. Her paintings have been included in several exhibitions across the East Coast. Commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Kat hand-painted a life-size fiberglass mule for a public art project called Miles of Mules. Subsequently, the artwork and commentary was published in a coffee table book. Kat is currently working on an illustrated commemorative history book for a hospital’s 100th Anniversary and writing a memoir.

  58. on September 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Bio for a book on Effective Communication:

    Ingrid Figueroa studied chemical engineering and worked for more than a decade with “machines and numbers”. For several years she changed her career for her mother role, to raise a son and a daughter. She never stopped searching for an option that would allow her to do that and feel fulfilled as a professional. Through her search she started an intense process of self development, and the benefits were so many, that she wanted to share this experience with others and do something she would feel passionate about.
    Ingrid is an author, an executive coach and a trainer in Latin America, and helps business owners and leaders improve their communication skills to get better results. It starts by realizing that everything happens through communication: human activities like building relationships, setting goals, coordinating actions, to name a few, are developed through language.

  59. Richard on September 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Ok, here’s what I thought would go inside the cover of my first novel (if it ever gets published)

    Richard grew up in the 80’s wanting to be a rock star – so he studied Geology at the University of Birmingham. After completing a gruelling three years of undergraduate study, he went on to further his knowledge and experience, gaining a Masters in Procrastination from the University of Life. During this time he entertained English students in Northern China with songs and silly stories of his own creation. He now lives in a sleepy suburb of Stourbridge, on the edge of the fabled Black Country, where he practices martial arts, enjoys drinking tea and teaches the guitar. Occasionally he does some writing and is currently working on his second novel.

    • on September 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Hey Richard, don’t say if it ever gets published, make it happen! 😉

      • Richard on September 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        I will. Haha. Thanks. 🙂

  60. Dave Kalin on September 1, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Non-Ficion Memoir about contracting in Afghanistan.

    I served 13 years in the US Military. After the US invasion of Iraq, I was contacted by KBR for a position in Afghanistan as a property technician at Bagram Airfield. That was September of 2003. I spent two years with KBR. I left my position with KBR to work as a Property Book Team Chief with Mantech. In that position, I sat at meetings with the Commanders of Task Force Phoenix and CJTF-180 at Bagram. As such, I was privy to all of the inner workings of military during Operation Enduring Freedom.
    In 2007, I was hired to mentor the Afghan National Police. I was primarily a logistics mentor. I saw first hand the corruption, cronyism and nepotism that is endemic to the Afghan National Security Forces. I mentored and befriended key figures in the Western Region (herat) of Afghanistan. One such figure was Major General al Hajj Akrummuddin who was the Commander of the West Region. As such, he was one of the two or three most powerful figures in Herat Region.
    I left that position in February of 2010. One year later, I was back as a Senior Mentor (Logistics) at the Kabul Military Training Center.

  61. Marianne Cushing on August 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    “I always knew you should have been a writer. You always wrote such beautiful poems,” was her mother’s response when Marianne Cushing left her successful 20+ year advertising career to become a novelist in 2010. “Are you crazy, we have a kid in college?” was her husband’s. Marianne’s first manuscript has yet to be published, but in the meantime, she has found a way to make a living at writing as the copy director for a national women’s intimate apparel chain.

  62. angela on August 16, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Angela Hooks is a literary artist painting pictures as a writer, speaker and workshop leader. When Angela is not in her bat cave writing or reading, she’s lecturing about writing. Some students have nicknamed her “psycho-path” and call her classes “boot-camp.” While others have taken refuge under her wing and called her “an inspiration.”
    What Angela teaches in workshops and college classrooms, she does: write, read, revise, write again, read some more, revise, revise, and revise. She admits her students of all ages, in and out of the classroom, have taught her to laugh at herself. She takes herself too seriously, sometimes.
    Her boot camp strategies helped her transform a journal into published pages The Other Side Of Motherhood, Mercy On The Journey. Then she authored WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?
    As a freelance journalist, her writings appeared in Gannett Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Parent & Hudson Valley Life, Dutchess Magazine, and Upscale Magazine to name a few. Angela juggled these gigs as a mompreneur, otherwise known as the work-at-home-mom, where she offered editorial and graphic design services to non-profit organizations, and small businesses such as Town of Greenburgh’s Arts and Culture Department, Westchester Nurses Assoc., State Beauty Culture Assoc. of NY, Xerox, and Sonic Waves. These skills she acquired from Mercy College, where she earned a BS in Management/Marketing in 1989.

    In addition to managing a home business and writing, Angela founded and facilitated The Art of Journaling workshops throughout the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and the Bronx in community centers, women’s conferences, churches, colleges, beauty salons, and women and youth retreats.

    However, years after she began her endeavor as a self-taught writer, and several publications under her belt, Angela earned her MA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College to formalize her writing. The results personal essays anthologized in Contemporary American Women: On Defining Passages, The Truth about the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction, and Cup of Comfort for Christians.

    After graduate school, to Angela’s surprise she interviewed at the Taconic Press for the job as reporter, and left as a newspaper editor for two newspapers: Millbrook RoundTable and Voice Ledger. In the newsroom, her writing and design skills increased readership and subscriptions.

    Angela’s not limited to writing and speaking; she was nicknamed Speedy Gonzalez while working in her mother’s beauty salon at 17.

    This place of gossip, hair, women and faith enhanced her fourth grade dream to live in a log cabin and write stories. She met characters, overheard rumors, witnessed affairs, experienced romance and redemption. All this opened her eyes and ears to the power of character driven stories. Click here and read her in-process novel excerpts from Wellspring Women: The Unveiling or The Secret Among Us.

  63. sell my laptop on August 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Nice article, but would be nice to see some examples 🙂

  64. […] An author bio and picture must be available on your site. Many writers struggle with this. Too modest, too confident, too bland. Give it a punch with something fun about you, something that readers will remember, and something that makes you stand above the pack. You author image should be professional (but it doesn’t have to be professionally taken) and reflect the tone of your writing. Here is a great blog post from Rachelle Gardner about ‘How To Write A Terrific Author Bio.’ […]

  65. Jacques Duvoisin on August 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I’m not sure how to do a bio for a pen name, and my credits are mainly academic, so boringly irrelevant for a fiction writer. If I include them, they won’t be searchable under the pen name. But without them, I may not be saying enough concrete things about myself.

    “By day, Jacques Antoine is a professor at St. John’s College, New Mexico, by night he writes action-adventure stories. Originally he wrote “kung fu” tales just for his daughter, when she was a little ninja studying karate. As she grew up, the tales also evolved, becoming full-length novels focusing on the dilemmas of young adults, but always set against the background of martial arts adventures.

    When he’s not writing or teaching, he enjoys walking his dogs in the high desert mountains around Santa Fe.”

  66. Mystic Wyngarden on August 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I have always worked with words, in both my education and my career. I have a B.A. in English, a Master’s Degree in Communication and am ABD for a Ph.D. in. I taught business and technical writing in the university for eight years, and now work as a corporate trainer/instructional designer. My short play, Every Boat’s for Sale, is being performed in a local theatre, and I placed in contemporary fiction in the Cleveland Rocks 2012 writing contest (the first I ever entered). This story was inspired by my fascination with boats and my involvement in the wooden boat culture of Grand Lake, Oklahoma. In fact, a significant portion of the book was written on a boat.
    I blog about my writing at, tweet about it as @MysticWyngarden (over 800 followers), and maintain a Facebook Page at!/mysticwyngarden (725 friends)

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  68. Yvette S. on July 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Hi, I am a first time author and I was working with someone who has written and published books with other writers. This is the Bio that he recommended. From the first glance it’s long but I would welcome your feedback and direction.
    Yvette Schmitter is fast becoming the woman that savvy females nationwide are turning to for business advice, lessons in leadership and the secrets of bringing balance to dating and relationships. Yvette has made it her passion and goal to redefine what it truly means to “BE YOUR OWN BOSS.” As a successful entrepreneur and former management consultant, she has made a name for herself at Deloitte as well as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. In the business world Yvette has focused her talents on the health care industry, specifically on the issues impacting minorities, especially women of color. Ms. Schmitter has adapted her acclaimed approach to the skills of management and leadership into a foolproof plan for all aspects of a person’s life. She is currently in the process of writing her first book detailing her journey and discovery in becoming a real life “BOSS LADY.”

    The New Jersey Assembly recognized her commitment to public service and named her Outstanding Young Woman Leader. While working toward her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Tufts University, she was voted “Leader of the Future” by her senior classmates. In graduate school, the President of New York University awarded her the “President’s Award” in recognition of her continued commitment to public service at the university; during convocation, Dean Robert Berne bestowed upon her the “Dean’s Award” for outstanding leadership.

    While working as a senior consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst and Young, Yvette partnered with MAC Cosmetics and a local beauty parlor, Chez George to create a very special event to empower local battered women. The event, “New Year, New Do and a New You”, allowed the women to receive new hair styles and professionally done makeovers conducted by the MAC Cosmetics make-up artists. This combination of outreach and inspiration is exactly the kind of forward giving momentum that Yvette has dedicated her life’s work to…

    She is also a writer and regular contributor and commentator to nationally acclaimed websites and television networks such as BETTER TV.

    She lives in New York City with a very special boy named Chance.

  69. Samina Y on July 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM


    I am a first time writer and her is my bio. I would look your comments.

    Samina Younis was born and raised in England. She is a first time writer who has never written a book but started off writing as a way of therapy for herself to overcome her tragic past but felt she had to tell her true story to inspire other women to break free from their family controlled lives. She has a passion for helping other people who may be in the same situation as she once was and she would like to inspire other women to follow their heart.

    On a typical day you may find her working out at her local gymnasium. She enjoys reading and going to the cinema. She loves Italian food, cooking and belly laughter.

  70. Henrygtd on July 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Is this format the same for screenwriters?

    Because I’ve been ask for an “Industry biography of the writer” as a new screenwriter I am unsure what the format is.


  71. […] Rachelle Gardner outlines how to write an author bio and what the differences should be between a bio in a query letter and the bio in the back of a book. We’ll let her make her own points, all we have to add: the majority of your query letter […]

  72. J. A. George on July 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Need some feedback:

    ‘James Andrew “J. A.” George is an amateur novelist and student of Creative Writing. His first published work, Camp Aconyte, is a short story written originally in 2004, revised and published in 2008. George is a strong anti-bullying activist, having begun posting chapters of a comedy-drama micro-series, “The Club”, to raise bullying awareness on Facebook.’


  73. Barbara Brunner on July 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Here are two slightly varied bios for my memoir Dog-Ma, the Zen of Slobber. I would love input.
    Barbara grew up in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania where there were always plenty of dogs underfoot. Meeting her husband in Washington DC, they continued together on a journey as self-proclaimed dog addicts. In the ensuing thirty-two years, she founded three successful businesses, moved seventeen times and adopted nine orphaned dogs giving her a unique and humorous perspective on life. She and her husband currently live in Southwest Florida with their two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur and slobber.

    Barbara grew up in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. Meeting her husband in Washington, DC, they continued together on a journey as self-proclaimed dog addicts. In the ensuing years, she founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest, moved thirty-two times and adopted nine orphaned dogs. She and her husband currently live in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur.

  74. Tony Lavelle on June 27, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    OK, I am posting my bio. Be as ruthless as you must. I am thick-skinned.

    William Anthony Lavelle is an author and publisher with Gallantry Group Press. Better known as “Tony,” he dedicated much of his adult life as a career military officer. After his service, Tony moved on to teach college as an adjunct professor of criminal justice, while also working as a local law enforcement supervisor. He has over 25 years training and teaching experience. His present-day mission is to guide (or drag) boys into manhood by developing training and testing curriculum to prepare boys to become men. Tony’s first book, The Manhood Test, he offers up a provocative theory on the causes of our young adult men failing to achieve adulthood. More significantly, Tony lays out a robust solution to resolve the problem.

    Read Tony’s frank and at times controversial blog at You can contact him directly at:

  75. Joanna Aislinn on June 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Of course I’m behind on this week’s posts but glad I caught up with this one! Another keeper and excellent for sharing. Thanks, Rachelle!

  76. Lynn on June 25, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Wow, this has been so helpful. I’m a total newbie with only a high school diploma, no degrees in anything, a love of writing and a desire to publish my e-book to help people stay on their diet. I’m hesitant to use the word schmucks but I’m just being forthright :-).

    Lynn is a ‘twice fired’ and ‘tired’ administrative assitant who decided to finally do the thing she loves instead of working for a bunch of schmucks.

    She is an indie writer who has published her first e-book with 101 tips n’ tricks to help you stay on your diet. Lynn began studying nutrition and dieting after the birth of her Daughter and she loves sharing her knowledge of how to stay on a diet with others.

    When not writing, Lynn is an artist and thrift store junkie always on the lookout for buried treasures and vintage finds; she says it’s her therapy. She also spends her spare time fighting the urge to nag her daughter into buying a house and making her a Grandma.

  77. Miranda Sullivan on June 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    How about this? Your website really helped! This is for my first story coloring book.
    Miranda Sullivan’s life made her feel like a kid at a hometown carnival choosing what ride she wanted to go on when she learned that she could make positive choices with her thoughts, feelings and actions. One of her passions in life had been working with kids, and when the two emerged, she came up with idea of The Adventures of Positive Penni. Then a new passion was in her heart; she wanted to share these nuggets of gold, in her writing, music and work. She is busy as a beaver working on lyrics and music for the full color version with children’s music, The Adventures of Positive Penni 1st Edition. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Positive Penni Foundation helping families create happy homes for themselves and their children.

  78. Regina M. Geither on June 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Regina M. Geither was raised on stories of legends, curses, and mystical lands. Today, she is a teacher, writer, and published author of the middle grade short story, SWAMP STALLION, part of McGraw-Hill’s Imagine It! reading series. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as well as Skyline Writers Critique Group. Her most recent publication is the young adult paranormal fantasy novel, ISLAND OF TORY, a tale of Celtic myth and Irish curses. Regina holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Baldwin Wallace College and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. When not analyzing the teenage psyche, Regina teaches novel writing to adults at Polaris Career Center. She resides in northern Ohio and is currently working on the sequel to ISLAND OF TORY, CURSING STONE. Find out more at

  79. Eric on June 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Looking for feedback on a query letter for short fiction publishers. The name is obviously not my own! Thanks!

    John Doe is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has been involved for many years in a richly creative life. With a Master’s Degree in Education from Temple University, he has had experience as a freelance writer and English tutor. He has also appeared on stage in community theater (his favorite roles being Oz, Screwtape and Elvis) and has exhibited his photography at various venues including the Soweto Arts Festival. His 20 years of work in the field of psychology has honed his ability to write simple engaging stories about the human experience. His biggest challenge at the moment is keeping his cats off of his keyboard.

  80. Linda on June 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Great article! Thank you!

  81. Antonee on June 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    HELP!!!!! 🙂 Trying to write a bio (for myself) for the back cover of my self published children’s book. It’s more difficult than I would’ve ever thought.


    Antonee Boykin is a picture book author from Mobile, AL. “Alex and Tony Help Stop Bullying” is her second published book with “Alex and Tony Learn to be Gentlemen” being the first. She credits her twin boys with inspiring the topics for each story, and hopes that her books will entertain as well as encourage healthy dialogue amongst adults and children.

    Describing writing as her passion, she and her family reside in Birmingham, AL.

    “As a child I always wrote short stories and mock books, so to have my work published is a dream come true. I hope that Alex and Tony become household favorites, and are inspirations to children everywhere.” ~Antonee Boykin

  82. Amber Knipp on June 4, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    I am helping my husband work on a book proposal. He has no prior publications, and isn’t a member of any writer’s organization. He’s a blue collar working man, with no formal education but a real passion for art. I’m not really sure how we should word his bio. I really want to keep the bio relevant to the book, without sounding too formal. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

  83. Rebecca on May 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Rebecca Hogan, now eighteen, grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, and is currently studying Marine Biology at the University of Saint John. Rebecca has a published essay in Rothesay; the place to be, a magazine by the Telegraph Journal in 2010 having successfully won a contest held throughout high schools of the surrounding area. Having put six long years into her first novel, Killer Set Free, Rebecca incorporates a personal side into her novel by placing pieces of her personalities into each of her characters.

  84. Amy Romine on April 28, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Amy Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing ‘Charlie’s Angels’ in the backyard of her Allentown, PA home as a child, to the pages of her most recent series, The Soul Mate Chronicles, Amy has always dreamt of adventure and romance. Her need to make characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of true enduring love.
    A wife, mother of three, full-time corporate employee and now the author of two compellingly addictive series and finishing a third, her entrance onto the stage of romantic suspense has been an enthralling adventure all it’s own. Amy started writing in high school but didn’t take the professional plunge until three years ago when a little voice told her she was meant to be doing something more…
    Since her premier release of Serenity Lost in October 2010 with Extasy Books, Amy has become the Prime Time Editor for BellaOnline, and regular contributing author to the Amazon Subscription Blog, ‘Red Lipstick Journals’. Amy is also an active eBook Author supporter lending her voice to encouraging new and indie eBook authors in striding toward their visions. Her own goal is to be a self sustaining author by 2014.
    Amy currently resides in Arlington, Texas with her husband, and three children.

    What do ya think??

  85. Shannon S. Jones on April 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I’m very uncertain how to write my bio. I as of yet am not published, I do not belong to any writer’s groups, I have not won any awards for non-published works. My current bio on my Facebook page listed above looks like this: I am a full time husband, father, and nuclear professional. I am currently trying to break into the fiction writing market.
    This doesn’t seem like much of a bio to me. I am fully aware that things will change once published, or if I win awards. Any ideas how I can improve this?

  86. Lisa on April 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Blurb for my book: The Mom’s Guide to Surviving West Point:

    Lisa has been a surviving mom for nearly 25 years. When she isn’t stalking her 3 sons on Facebook, she helps moderate a group that currently boasts over 1000 West Point moms. By day, Lisa attempts to teach 8th graders to read, write, and think. she and her husband Steve live in the Atlanta metro area.

    • Kathryn Lampi on September 14, 2012 at 5:52 AM

      Love it, Lisa!! I love your tone and can already tell your book would be entertaining. The bio alone makes me want to buy it before I’ve even read what the book is about! 🙂 Kudos to you!

      • Lisa Joiner on September 14, 2012 at 7:08 AM

        Thanks! The book came out in June…we’ve done well w/ our sales (I co wrote w/ another mom). I hope to publish in a traditional route one day, but for a book w/ limited market appeal, it seemed like self-publishing was the way to go. Sales over 500 so far, which is more than 10% of the enrollment for the academy. =)

  87. Samule Kermis on April 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I’m Adeyinka Damilola Samuel 21 years old.. I started breathing on the 20th day of January, 1991… I am an impending theater art student in University of Lagos as I have just sat my post utme. I fell in love with writing some two years ago and I started writing articles and later I moved on to write for church magazine; best known as ‘SUCCESS HINT’ and now I am compiling my first book which is still under vet. I am a Nigerian. Black, an average height and has an athletic body. A savvy Nigerian populace, an avid reader and voracious consumer of any book, especially Motivational Piece. I love writing, and I love listening to country and classical music, I am more of an extrovert.

    • Samule Kermis on April 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      how will i get ur reply?

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    Laurie Buchanan is a holistic health practitioner and transformational coach. Working with the whole person, she helps people turn intention into action; taking them from where they are, to where they want to be—body, mind, and spirit.

    Being respectful of the earth and its natural resources, her goal is to leave the slightest footprint possible on the planet, while at the same time, making an uplifting impression on its inhabitants. Both a teacher and a student of purposeful living, Laurie respects all spiritual paths and traditions.

    A few of her favorite pastimes include writing, bicycling, photography and travel. She lives in Illinois with her husband and two dogs: a Standard Poodle and an Irish Wolfhound. A voracious reader, she and her husband haven’t had a television in their home for over 32 years. Now that’s bliss!

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  95. K.L. Parry on March 14, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Unsure if anyone is still responding to comments made to this blog but I’ll post one anyway.
    This is a bio for my query letter. The novel is titled, The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom.

    Ten years spent performing, nearly every weekend, in pirate festivals, renaissance fairs or on “the ranch”, it’s no wonder that I chose to write a historical fiction. But, my love for the genre began long before that when, in elementary school, I was forced in to reading the Sid Fleischman novel, Ghost in the Noonday Sun. Thank God for required reading.

  96. kittyb78 on March 14, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I forgot to add I’m an avid participant at Critique Circle. 😛

  97. kittyb78 on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Awesome practice. here is mine:

    Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it’s a moon lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side.

    Growing up no matter where she was physically she spent nearly every free moment lost in a book. It’s only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing Paranormal Romances.

  98. Merlyn on March 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Merlyn Fuller knew from the sound of her mother’s typewriter clicking away while she was napping as a child, that she was raised to be a writer. She has been published in such varied forums as: “Mother Earth News” to an independent poetry publication as “Olivetrees”. She has also essays published at Cayuga Community College’s “Collegian” newspaper and “Snappin’ Cowboy: A Poetry Journal”. She was also an advice column writer for Syracuse Newspaper’s “Partners In Parenting” for years.

    Merlyn has written songs as a Renaissance faire musician and has been involved in Online writer’s groups, such as “Magpie Tales” and “The Pagan Blog Project”. She has also written progressive Pirate stories with other fellow pirates. She currently has 2 blogs of her own with over 250 essays and poems published on it ranging from minstrel tales from her real musical life to magical daily happenings to essays on Mythology. She has a following readership of 130 folks on any given day and more if you count Facebook.

    She hopes to publish one of the several books she’s writing on music, poetry, her memoir or pirate fiction, and will, if she would ever just stop being a pirate musician and sit down and do it.

  99. Watch TV free on February 26, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I seldom leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here How to Write a Terrific Author Bio | Rachelle Gardner. And I do have 2 questions for you if you usually do not mind. Is it just me or does it give the impression like some of the responses come across as if they are written by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  100. Sally Lee Baker on February 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    The following is the Author Bio for the children’s book I am writing:

    Sally Lee Baker, storyteller, author and illustrator wrote her first alliterative story using the letter “B” in a “Writing for Juveniles” class in college. After marrying, raising two girls and then reading to grandchildren she was inspired to write alliterative stories using each letter of the alphabet.

    Not knowing where to turn for a good illustrator, Sally attempted some drawings herself. After several efforts she surprised herself at being able to draw characters which she could scan on to her computer to color and manipulate through a drawing program.

    As library clerk at her local public school she has many opportunities to read to students and note which books are well received and which are not.

    Sally lives with her husband, Ted, and near her grandchildren in Faro, Yukon Territory of Canada, where they serve as missionaries with Send International.

  101. Mitchell on February 12, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    Thanks for a great article. Does anyone like my new bio?

    Mitchell Miller was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1986 that was discovered in 1997. He wrote 200 articles about traumatic brain injuries, Bear Grylls and the New York Giants on his blog, “Where Did My Brain Go?” from 2007-2010.

    Mitchell supports himself writing software in Lexington, Kentucky. In his spare time, he walks around town and writes his second novel.

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  103. Heidi Rand on January 25, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    This is hugely helpful. I’m writing a bio for my book about selling artwork online.

    When not birthing butterflies, wrangling hens, or sitting with cat on lap, Heidi is busy making art from her nature photographs, and teaching others, through her workshops and books, how to make art from the magic in their own lives. Heidi sells her decorative and useful art and craft creations in person at the Pinole Art Center and at her Open Studios. After a few exhausting years on the art fair circuit (pack, haul, unpack, setup, sell, reverse …), Heidi, an unapologetic homebody, prefers to sell her mixed media art online from the comfort of her office (cat on lap, remember?). Heidi sells her work directly through her website, Etsy and Artfire, and is crazy in love with putting her images and designs on Keds shoes, neckties and other useful and decorative products in her shop.

  104. Jennifer Sorge on January 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Bio for children’s book submission…about the various “monsters” that children have to deal with. From bullies to child preditors to the ones that rattle in the night. The book also covers what may have caused someone to become a monster and what that person might secretly be feeling…and if a monster can change.

    Jennifer Elaine Sorge worked and taught in early childhood education for over 30 years after graduating in 1987 from an Palomar College with honors. Through the years of being known as Miss Jenny, her compassion for children grew as she witnessed how bullying in schools and abuse within families was increasing. In addition, growing up in a Navy family that moved almost every year, she found herself always being the new kid on the block and subsequently often exposing her first hand to bullying. Jennifer has been a Minneapolis Child Development Examiner for the and is presently working on a curriculum and book for home schooling families.

    • Juanima Hiatt on July 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      I really like this, Jennifer. Your work is very important! 🙂

  105. Bringing Sexy Back on January 18, 2012 at 6:29 PM

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  106. John on January 5, 2012 at 1:35 AM

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  111. Deborah on November 8, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Oh, sorry that’s for a humorous devotional book.

    Am I too late for this game?

  112. Deborah on November 8, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Deborah spent her childhood writing stories that made people laugh. Distracted by life the next few decades, it wasn’t until recently that she picked up her pen and got back in the saddle.
    A barefoot Bohemian, world traveler and beatnik poet, Deborah hangs her hat in her native soil of northeastern Wisconsin with her family. She’s married to her best friend; together they raised four children and spoil two grandchildren. She enjoys camping, hiking, scrapbooking and hanging out with God.

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  115. joylene on October 4, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    No matter how much I work on this, it still sounds boring to me.

    “Joylene Nowell Butler, Métis Canadian, has been writing for 28 years. A retired emergency responder, she was born in Manitoba, moved to Maple Ridge, B.C. as a child, attended Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. She and her husband moved to Pr. George in 1979 with their five sons. In 1992, with their own hands, they built their dream home on Cluculz Lake. In her spare time, Joylene teaches Tai Chi and practices Yoga.”

    • Juanima Hiatt on July 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      I think your bio is good! The only thing I would reduce is your moving history. Where is Manitoba, btw? Building your dream home with your own hands was interesting to me! It’s also cool that you’re a retired emergency responder, and I enjoyed hearing you have five sons. I think I got a little lost in the middle with all the places you lived. I’m not sure either, whether you need to include the universities you attended. That’s just my humble opinion! But well done!

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  118. Carrie Vaughn on August 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    I’m so glad to hear that other people have agonized over the bio. I’ve logged several hours here in starbucks coming up with a few sentences for this thing. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

    Growing up in the comfortable suburbs of Houston, Texas, Carrie and her family now live in a Chinese city of 9 million people. Living there for almost 7 years, she enjoys eating noodles for breakfast and getting her picture taken by every cell phone sold to a Chinese person. While navigating webs of street vendors and tripping through the Chinese language, she has found grace in unlikely places. “Life Over Here” is her first book.

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  120. How To Write A Query Letter | Rachelle Gardner on August 1, 2011 at 12:05 AM

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  121. Abigail Stokes Palsma on July 28, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Just got word that Opium Magazine will be publishing a 7-line story I sent them a few months ago. They asked for a 50-word bio… glad I keep up with your blog. This post was a big help.

    Thanks, Rachelle!

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  124. Kelly on July 8, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Thanks, Rachelle! It Is realy hard job – writing an author bio.

  125. Kristin on July 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Thanks, Rachelle! It IS hard writing an author bio. Here’s my stab at it:

    Kristin Weber is a comedian who delights audiences at comedy clubs,
    conferences, and churches all over the country with her sharp wit and stories about going from a sheltered homeschooler to living in Sodom and Gomorrah (AKA Hollywood). Kristin contributes a monthly column to Susie Magazine, blogs about homeschooling for Heritage Builders, and is a speaker with Apologia Live. You can view stand up clips, articles, and see her performance/speaking schedule at

  126. Jo Ann Fore on July 7, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Great bios. And great tips!

    Couldn’t resist throwing mine in the mix.

    Jo Ann Fore is an inspirational author, speaker, and fun friend. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. Most noted for her authentic vulnerability, Jo Ann captivates her audience with faith-filled messages caramelized with a powerful promise of hope.

    Visit Jo Ann at or

  127. PW Creighton on July 6, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  128. DR on July 6, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    A weird, spastic 12 year old, Luciana is often seen wasting her youth yelling at people via internet or some other strangeness. Every once in a while she writes to escape the daily abuse life foists upon her.

    Agh, my age is most certainly not helping me >.> And whatever advantage I might have is quickly disappearing

  129. Jon Gibbs on July 6, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I have a 100-word bio, but depending on what I’m using it for, I leave segments out of it.

    Unless it’s a query letter, I always end with:

    ‘Jon can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.’

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

      I love this! :-))

      • Jon Gibbs on July 8, 2011 at 6:17 AM

        Thanks, Karen 🙂

  130. Kelly Combs on July 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    My bio changes depending on where I am published. I have funny and serious bios. Some list my publishing credits, some (like the following) don’t.

    It is my favorite, however, because it shows the “real” me. I use it for articles published as my local stay-home mom Examiner, on Examiner (dot) com.

    Kelly Combs is an over-caffeinated and under-compensated stay home mom who can frequently be found singing at the top of her lungs in her minivan; much to the embarrassment of her 2 daughters.

  131. Connie Read Burris on July 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    New to this site and everything about writing a memoir! Sorry to have missed this post yesterday and hope I’m not too late.

    Rachelle, I sincerely appreciate the info you share and the opportunity to test the waters and get constructive feedback. Thanks!

    Connie, a mom aka The Family Powerbroker, authored daily posts to Caring when her husband, Mike, was instantly paralyzed in a diving accident at Hatteras. Chronicling our journey from quadriplegic to his first three steps and beyond provided an insider view into spinal cord injuries for concerned family and friends and spelled survival from my ringing phone.

    Journal entries best read starting with oldest. As recovery progressed Mike used Dragon Speak software to post newest entries.

  132. Linda K. Wertheimer on July 6, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Thanks for an informative post. A little preface to what I’ll copy/paste below. This comes from the bio I typically put in a query to an agent for my memoir about how losing my brother led me deeper into Judaism. I’d love to know what you and others think. I tweaked it some – and added two possible paragraphs.

    Here it goes:

    A veteran journalist, I am The Boston Globe’s former education editor. During my nearly 25-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor, I also worked for The Dallas Morning News and The Orlando Sentinel. I have published several essays related to my memoir, including Sunday magazine pieces in the Globe and the Sentinel.

    In 2009, I took a buyout from the Globe to pursue finishing the memoir. I continue to write for several publications, including the Globe’s Sunday magazine, The Writer and The Forward, a national Jewish newspaper. I also am building an audience for my book on my blog, Jewish Muse, A Writer’s Blog on Faith and Family.

    [I usually stop with the mention of my blog, and am wondering if I should add the grafs below. I like to keep a query to one page. This would push the limit!]


    National Jewish organizations as well as Tiferet, a spiritual journal, have featured my blog posts, which range from tongue-in-cheek entries about passing along Judaism to my toddler to serious pieces about my journey from grief to faith.

    This past year, as a sidelight, I taught public speaking at a state university. I also taught a class on networking at writers’ conferences for Boston’s Grub Street organization, where I occasionally take classes.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Ps. And thanks to Randy Susan Meyer for tweeting about this. Wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

  133. Pat Brown on July 6, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    This is the one I’ve been using for my current queries for an historical novel. I’m moving from police procedurals to American historicals in the late 19th century and early 20th.

    My first historical, a novella PLACING OUT, that follows a boy from New York sent to Nebraska on the Orphan Train who runs away to Hollywood, was published in April of this year. My first novel, L.A. HEAT was published by Alyson Books in 2006 and republished by MLR Press, along with 3 sequels to date, L.A. BONEYARD, L.A. BYTES and BERMUDA HEAT in 2011. Late last year I attended an intensive writing workshop given by best selling author James N. Frey of How to Write a Damn Good Thriller and other writing books. I hope to attend another of Frey’s workshops in the fall. I belong to the Historical Novel Society and attend conferences frequently.

  134. Kristi Belcamino on July 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Should it be 50 words or less? Whoops.

    • Kristi Belcamino on July 6, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      Nevermind, I have a different version IN queries. This is a separate bio.

  135. Jaime Wright on July 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Just a shot at my short bio (unpub – 50 words, right?) – please forgive it, the coffee wasn’t made when I got into the office!! I know, right?! …

    Jaime resides in the hills of Wisconsin. She’s wife to a rock climbing youth pastor, mom to a little monkey, and a long-term youth leader. She believes coffee is not just a drink, but a way of life, reinforced by fellow members of ACFW of which she is a member.

    • Barbra, Bio Writer on September 23, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Jaime, I think that’s a great bio. The only thing that I found a little odd was the phrase “resides in the hills of”. It gave me a mental picture of you wandering homeless in the hills like an outlaw. Maybe that’s what you intended! 😉

  136. Kristi Belcamino on July 6, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist who also bakes a tasty biscotti.

    In her former life, as a crime reporter at newspapers in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, watched autopsies, and conversed with serial killers.

    During her decade covering crime, Belcamino wrote and reported about many high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and Chandra Levy’s disappearance. And because of her police sources, she was one of the first reporters in the country to learn that the passengers on Flight 93 had fought back on 9/11. She has appeared on Inside Edition and local cable television shows. Her work has appeared in such prominent publications as the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, and Chicago Tribune.
    Belcamino has won numerous awards for her writing from such organizations as the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the East Bay Press Club.

    She recently finished writing her first novel, inspired by her life as a Bay Area newspaper reporter. Her perfect day involves spending time with her family while dining alfresco with lots of food, wine, and laughter. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and children.

  137. Brittany on July 6, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Alright. Here’s my working bio…

    Brittany grew up in the tiny town of Early, Texas (And yes, early, on time, late—she’s heard just about every pun imaginable). She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Theatre. In college, she spent her time getting very little sleep, making friends while making theatre, traveling, and realizing that maybe playwriting wasn’t the best career path if she only wanted to write about characters with supernatural abilities. It was during her time backpacking in Europe that her dabbling in playwriting became dabbling in fiction, and one weekend in Istanbul, The Keeper was born.

  138. Camille Eide on July 6, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    This is far too long and I guess I could stand still a minute and let total strangers have a whack at cutting it down. I should probably squeeze in there somewhere that I’m a 2011 Genesis Finalist and that I am prepared to send sinfully good, warm cinnamon rolls with my manuscript to the next Pub Board meeting, but I suspect this bio already borders on being a novel in itself.

    = = = = = = =

    Camille has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She’s acquainted with dysfunction, despair, surrender, and the incredible hope that comes from knowing Christ. A cynic saved by grace, Camille sometimes remembers to turn that amazing grace around and use it on others.

    Obsessed with the craft of writing, Camille is a member of the Oregon Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Camille has attended several large and local writing conferences. She belongs to critique groups and Christian writing communities that cultivate literary excellence.

    Camille lives in Oregon with her hero and two of their three college-aged kids. By day she’s a church office manager. When she’s not pounding the keyboard, they let her play bass guitar and sing in the worship band. While she loves Harleys, Classic Rock, muscle cars and action flicks, she is also a closet romantic and passable Jane Austen fan.

    • Melissa K. Norris on July 6, 2011 at 2:26 AM


      I like the first line of your first paragraph. Camille has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.

      I would add that to your third paragraph and cut the second paragraph.Or just shorten the second paragraph to say, Camille is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW.

      Congrats on being a finalist! That’s a huge accomplishment.

      • Camille Eide on July 6, 2011 at 2:57 AM

        Good call, Melissa. Where should I send the cinnamon rolls? 😀

        • Melissa K. Norris on July 7, 2011 at 2:25 AM

          Now I might have to go bake a batch. lol

          I love cinnamon rolls, better add an extra mile to my run. Glad I could help. 🙂

  139. Jenny on July 6, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    This is just a little bio I whipped up when my crit partner asked me for one to put on our website. I’m not published (yet–waiting on editor/agent responses on requested fulls, so fingers crossed)so I don’t have as much to say as I would like to. Here it is:

    Sister, daughter, cousin, mother
    Single, white, female, other
    Waitress, student, writer, reader
    Sarcastic, funny, part-time leader
    Arachnophobic soldier of one
    Se moi, es fin, and now I’m done

  140. Carol J. Garvin on July 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    I know this is longer than it ought to be, but don’t know what should be cut. Ah, well… here goes:

    For the past decade I’ve freelanced for various Canadian magazines while writing my novels. Three of my articles have been finalists in the Surrey International Conference writing contests. In addition to being a member of the Federation of BC Writers, the Langley Writers’ Guild and the Golden Ears Writers’ Critique, I am a pastor’s wife and retired schoolteacher. I am active in the sport of purebred dogs as a breeder, exhibitor and professional dog show superintendent. I was also the canine consultant for the movie, “Best In Show”. My experience in the purebred dog fancy is reflected in most of my novels.

  141. Nikole Hahn on July 5, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Nikole Hahn lives in Northern Arizona and is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers. She is a book reviewer, avid blogger, and coffee addict.

  142. Maril Hazlett on July 5, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    I wish I had time to comment on more of these – I really loved reading them. Thanks to everyone who participated!

  143. Jenny Lee Sulpizio on July 5, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    I’ll give it a whirl. Non-fiction bio. 🙂

    Jenny Lee Sulpizio, M.S. is a wife, business owner, published children’s author, and mother of three residing in Boise, Idaho. Originally stuck in a secular world, Jenny has emerged to find her rightful place in Christianity with the whole-hearted desire to spread its message with the world, one woman at a time. It is through her experiences as a small group teacher, seminar leader, charitable fundraising fanatic, and slightly crazed (and definitely outnumbered) mom that Jenny has come to gain the necessary insight and willingness to share her journey into Christianity.

    Jenny is not Joyce Meyer, nor is she even remotely related to Beth Moore, but she is real, tangible, and able to effectively communicate her message with other women in a fun and humorous manner. In her free time (yeah, right), Jenny loves to scrapbook, craft and use the right side of her brain whenever possible. You can find out more about her and her upcoming projects at

  144. Layla Fiske on July 5, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Okay…here’s mine. I’d love some feedback:

    Layla Fiske, a graduate of San Diego State University, lives on the beautiful California Coast. As a young girl, she would sit at her grandmother’s knee and hear many heartfelt tales about life in the Middle East. Inspired by those stories, she has taken a pinch of fact and a cup of fiction to weave a tapestry of love, hope, pain and redemption in her debut novel, THE FIG ORCHARD.

    When she’s not writing, Layla can be found walking on the beach in Del Mar with her soul mate and husband of thirty-six years.

  145. BJ Pramann on July 5, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    This is the most useful thing I’ve read all day. =)

  146. Beth on July 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Great advice! I am your newest follower. I will need to know how to do this when I publish my first book.

    Thank you!

  147. Melissa K. Norris on July 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    This is fun. This is my bio on Twitter and blogger.

    Melissa K. Norris is a Christian fiction romance author, blogger, clearance rack fashionista, cattle owner, pickling machine and quilter. Her newspaper column, Pioneering Today, bridges the past to now.

  148. Kristin Laughtin on July 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    This is a GREAT post. I will definitely use it as a checklist in the future!

    This is what I’ve got on my blog right now, and assumes that anybody who stumbles across it won’t have any idea who I am. It’s obvious many details would be shortened were this to appear on a book jacket, or even on my website were I more well-known. It’s definitely a draft:

    “I write. I also work full-time in an academic library while studying for my Master’s in that field. As a result, when it comes to writing, I’m concentrating right now on perfecting my craft before trying for the limelight. Most of my stories are science fiction or fantasy or some strange combination of the two. Life is busy. I intend to balance it all anyway.

    That all sounds so serious business! It’s a bit goofier inside my head, although it can take a while to come out around new people. Besides writing and SFF, I really love dolphins, dinosaurs, penguins, sewing, the ocean and the stars, and studying ancient religions. I’m a dog person with a black panther of a kitten, eight million types of tea, and enough books and movies to make moving not very fun, though I’m trying to minimalize.”

  149. Dawn on July 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    This is excellent advice. Thank you so much for posting it. I’m going to work on a “professional” bio and then I’ll post it. May I feature this post on my blog and link back to you?

    The Write Soil

  150. R. King Kollman on July 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    What a great idea! Thanks for the opportunity to hone this part of my query, Rachel.

    For my latest novel, a YA paranormal murder mystery with a mermaid element, I shortened my bio from the one I used for my earlier works (legal thrillers) to this:

    I’m a lawyer, struggling to overcome that handicap. I’ve represented lots of kids caught in the juvenile justice system, too many. My publishing credits to date are all non-fiction, limited to the legal field. The topics, ranging from the corpus delicti of murder to trial procedure and lawyer ethical dilemmas, creep into my fiction. I began adult life in graduate school in comparative literature, where I helped edit an international literary journal. I’ve also been editor-in-chief of a regional lawyer publication, and I’m a frequent speaker at lawyer groups. I live, read, paint and write by the sea.

    Still too much?

    I appreciate any and all insight.


  151. otin on July 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Okay, let me have it….lol

    Now a little bit about me. My name is (@#^&%$#). I’m forty five years old and I spend most of my time running heavy machinery. I have won two poetry contests and I have written numerous short stories. In the past nine months I have found the time to write two novels. While I have always had a reputation for being a unique storyteller, this is only my second foray into the world of full length manuscripts. I have never submitted any short stories for publication, but I have featured some of them on my blog. (

    I have always written for me. The thought of going through the publication process had never really crossed my mind until recently. With so many blog followers urging me to do so, I had to try. I decided to put blogging on hold to pursue novel writing.

  152. Lisa Jordan on July 5, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    My bio is a bit bland. It could use some personality.

    Lisa Jordan has been writing for over a decade, taking a hiatus to earn her degree in early childhood education. By day, she operates an in-home family childcare business. By night, she writes contemporary Christian romances. Being a wife to her real-life hero and mother to two young adult men overflow her cup of blessings. In her spare time, she loves reading, knitting, and hanging out with family and friends. Learn more about her at

    Great post, Rachelle!

    • Juanima Hiatt on July 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      I personally love your bio. I think it has tons of personality! I love the “being a wife to a real-life hero.” Makes me wonder if there is a story there. 🙂

  153. Sarah Forgrave on July 5, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Great pointers, Rachelle. Thanks!

    I tend to tweak my bio depending on where it goes, but it usually includes some of the same information across the board. Here’s what I have posted on my group blog:

    Sarah Forgrave writes lighthearted romance with Amish flavor. Drawing from her experience as a seasoned “road apple” avoider and a waitress at the Buggy Wheel Restaurant, she likes to relate stories about modern people living in Amish-centric settings.

    She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and was a runner-up in the 2010 Genesis contest. She’s also a regular contributor to the webzine Ungrind and maintains a blog on her website, where she hosts monthly giveaways. When she’s not in front of the computer writing, she enjoys being a stay-at-home mom to her two young children and cheering on Colts football with her husband in their Midwest home.

    • Melissa K. Norris on July 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

      Sarah, I love the bit about avoiding “rode apples.” It shows your humor.

  154. Lucy V Morgan on July 5, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    This is such an important topic. Thanks for highlighting it 🙂

    Another smartass reporting for duty. Here’s the author bio from my website:

    Lucy writes sharp, contemporary fiction, usually with a liberal splatter of filth. She is also a publishing intern.

    She lives at a pub in England, which may or may not explain her perverse sense of humor. When not torturing her characters, she dabbles in the dark arts of baking and dancing. She is still trying to kick her dirty Pepsi habit.

    Initially, Lucy thought that talking about herself in the third person would seem pretentious, but finds she is DRUNK ON THE POWER.

    She will now be going for a lie down.

  155. Barbara Jean Byrem on July 5, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Barbara Jean Byrem is a self proclaimed word junkie, who loves the sound of her own voice. Don’t let her near an open mike or blank piece of paper. After brief engagements in many of the United States, she is making her way around the world a few years at a time. Currently her residence is in the Caribbean with the love of her life and a laptop.

  156. Regina Sokas on July 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Regina Sokas’ articles have appeared in newspapers across the country, from the Portland Oregonian to the Staten Island Advance and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The latter is particularly wonderful to say aloud. Most recently, her slightly skewed love poems were published in the April 2011 anthology Life In Me Like Grass On Fire. She is a Johns Hopkins-trained psychotherapist. (One word. Not two.) This is her first novel.

    • Sarah Thomas on July 5, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      I don’t even know what the book is about and this makes me want to read it! We could be kindred spirits in appearing in newspapers and anthologies. I, however, am not a psychotherapist (whether one word or two).

  157. Beth K. Vogt on July 5, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    I’ve been asked to provide different bios: magazine, website, nonfiction book, fiction book, book proposal, speaker bio . . . I’ve started saving them in a file. Here’s my most recent take on a professional bio:

    Beth K. Vogt’s book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 offers practical advice for late-in-life moms. Beth edits Connections, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International’s leadership magazine. She writes a bimonthly column for MOMSnext, an e-zine for moms of school-age children. She’s published in a variety of magazines, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms and The Mommy Diaries. Beth and her husband Rob treasure their four children and son- and daughter-in-love.

    • Juanima Hiatt on July 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      I like the bio! I would consider adding commas before and after the book title. I had to read that line a couple times. Otherwise I really like it! 🙂

  158. Sarah Thomas on July 5, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    I’ve used a basic, pretty dry bio for my freelance writing for a long time. It didn’t occur to me that I could have a little fun with it!

    Sarah Thomas is a poet, freelance writer and novelist with a degree in English, a beloved husband and a dog named Thistle. She has published in several literary journals and is a regular contributor to Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine.

    Okay, not crazy fun, but a LITTLE more interesting!

    • Maril Hazlett on July 5, 2011 at 11:29 PM

      Noticing a theme as I read all these – I seem to be a huge sucker for bios that mention dogs (like this one!), family life, or gardens.

      Wonder if similar “points of contact” resonate with certain audiences? Maybe writing a successful bio needs to take audience into acct as well? Ie, maybe a romance writer might want to mention (lightly! with humor!) an anecdote re relationships?

  159. Casey on July 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I’ve always wondered just what should go into a bio, because each one seems so diverse. But for what it is worth, here is mine:

    Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people. Taking the words and stories God has placed on her heart and putting them on paper is one of her highest passions in life. Casey is a member of ACFW. You can connect with her through her personal blog, Writing for Christ and her writing related group blog, The Writer’s Alley

  160. Laila on July 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Thanks for posting about this. I’m often baffled when expected to include a bio when I haven’t been published yet. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else is commenting.

  161. Loree Huebner on July 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I have had trouble with this. I’m getting ready to query a novel which I wrote, but there is historical input by my husband, Eric. This is how our bio appears on my blog, but I will change it to first person in the query letter.

    Book Title

    By Loree Huebner
    with Eric Huebner

    Loree has had a love affair with American history all of her life. She writes historical fiction and inspirational romance, mainly Civil War era. She shares this passion for history and writing along with her husband, Eric. Together, they have made the Civil War period a personal study and hobby. Loree and Eric are both active Union Civil War re-enactors with the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Company E, and the 21st Indiana Light Artillery.

    Loree and Eric Huebner are published in the Indiana Historical Society’s Spring 2011 issue/June 2011 – of the IHS’s quarterly magazine, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. The ten page Civil War article is titled, The Bravest Of The Brave, The Battle History Of The 9th Indiana.

  162. Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Here’s another, a short paragraph for use in query letters:

    As an appellate attorney, I write persuasive prose for a living. I have had one law review article published in two publications (in an online law review, and as the featured article in our state bar association’s monthly magazine). I have been addicted to reading since approximately age seven.

    Question: if I’m querying re a science fiction novel, should I add something to the last sentence about reading SF specifically?

    • Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      Karen, I like the line about writing persuasive prose given that you’re an attorney, but unless you’re writing legal thrillers, I’d probably leave out the article publications.

      Do you have any short story or contest wins you could include instead? It would reinforce your SF connection.

      Ref: book jacket bio
      Nice. You sound approachable and interesting.

  163. Mike on July 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I’m a smartass. So here’s my bio:

    Michael Offutt is a writer of epic fantasy. Depending on when you catch him, he may also be an aspiring writer of science-fiction, young adult fiction, or a daily non-sequitur. He has one brother, no pets, and a few roots that keep his tree of life sufficiently watered.

    Mr. Offutt’s mother is a four-foot tall Japanese woman and his father is a six-foot tall white man from Texas with a thick southern drawl. She loves city life and sushi. He loves small towns with run-down pick-up trucks and fried chicken.

    When he asked his mother how they got together, she happily responded that when she was working in the United States Air Force back in the ’50’s, she used her spare time as an office clerk at the Air Force Base to look over personnel records for a husband. He remarks that peculiar behavior like this must have been how people met each other prior to the influence of Facebook and Twitter. It puzzles him whenever he thinks about it, so he chooses instead to just love his stalker mother who speaks quite fondly of the family to the fictional people that live in the basement.

    Things you may want to know about the author:

    1) Mr. Offutt’s day job is working for the State of Utah. In his own words, he says, “I help people get computers for their home and school that could otherwise not afford them. I also install environmental control units, voice-activated devices, and work with computers and electronics. Generally, I fix stuff when something goes wrong with it.”

    2) He enjoys writing, reading, and keeps a blog to regale scores of followers with his wit.

    3) He feels like he has an unhealthy preoccupation with caffeine.

    4) If the world were to be scientifically verified to end tomorrow, Mr. Offutt would eat chocolate cake until he passed out. That way he wouldn’t have to worry about fitting into his pants the next day.

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      There’s some great material here, but this is LONG. For book jackets, query letters, or a publisher’s publicity campaign, you’d need shorter versions, I believe.

    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      This is a fun bio that would be good on your blog – but nowhere else, please!

  164. Darlene Marshall on July 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    My novels contain a lot of humor, so I felt my bio should be mildly amusing:

    “Darlene Marshall is an award-winning author of historical romance featuring pirates, privateers, smugglers and the occasional possum. She loves working at a job where business attire is shorts and a shirt festooned with pink flamingos. Her books have been published in English, German, and Estonian. Seriously.”

    • Zan Marie on July 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      I love it! Opposums–grin

      • Darlene Marshall on July 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        See? That’s exactly the response I hope for. I want you to be intrigued enough to say, “Hmmm..her books have pirates and humor, and probably a tropical setting because she wears flamingo shirts and shorts while writing.”

        The other key concepts I try to get across are that I’ve won awards for my work (true) and that publishers find me enough of a valuable commodity that they publish me in foreign editions. I want to give readers some assurance that I’m not a lightweight amateur, but someone whose work they can buy with confidence of a light but entertaining read.

        Thanks for the feedback!


  165. Kay Elam on July 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM


    This is extremely useful information. Thank you.

    I’ve not added a bio to my query (I’ve only sent a few out) because I have no writing credits. Following are two I wrote after reading your post and would love constructive feedback. I write southern fiction with a healthy dose of humor. The book I am currently querying is based in Nashville.

    3rd PERSON BIO (48 words)
    A born and bred Southern belle with a passion for writing, Kay lives in Nashville with her husband, her stepson, and her imagination. She blogs three times a week at Kay Elam Writes, and is a member of MWA, SinC, and the critique group Step by Step.

    QUERY LETTER BIO (47 words)
    I’ve lived in the south my entire life and in Nashville long enough to consider it my hometown. I’ve blogged three times a week for almost a year and am a member of MWA, SinC, the Nashville Writers MeetUp Group, and the critique group Step by Step.

    Thanks in advance for Query feedback ☺ Great post!

  166. Audrey Wilde on July 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Here’s the basic one I tweak for various things – would love suggestions!

    Audrey Wilde is pretty sure she was born to tell stories, but keeps getting distracted. She was pleased to discover recently that drafts of short fiction may be penned during boring work conferences, and editing can occur amidst the daily chaos she calls her life. With no shortage of boring work conferences, she hopes to be submitting many more stories in the future. She lives in the Southeastern United States with one husband, one daughter, one son, and one imperious cat.

    • Elizabeth Kitchens on July 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      Very entertaining. I like it.

  167. Zan Marie on July 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Thanks for the opportunity, Rachel. I’m not sure what type of bio this is, but it could be for the back flap.

    Zan Marie Steadham is the author of two devotionals—An Easter Walk and A Christmas Walk, and was nominated in 2009 for the Georgia Author of the Year Award for An Easter Walk. She is a member of ACW and two critique groups—Carrollton Creative Writing Club and the Book and Writers Forum. Currently, she is writing a contemporary novel about a retired teacher and an abused foster child. Her other works in progress include a SF trilogy and a devotional titled The Valley Walk.

    • Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      I think this bio works beautifully for most any venue. Well done.

      • Zan Marie on July 5, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        Thanks, that’s good to know. Did you notice our names are almost alike, but in reverse order? ; )

  168. LJ King on July 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Author bio for near future query – looking forward to constructive critiques.

    As an unpublished novelist, I wrote what I know (advice I’ve heard repeatedly) and researched the rest. I spent hours with a Suffolk County Homicide Detective to assure procedures and details were accurate and realistic. I’m the newsletter editor and a board member for the Long Island Authors Group. Professional memberships include: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. I graduated CUNY Queens College with a BA in English Literature. My professional website is in place, and I have a written business plan. My blog, Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts are all in various stages of construction.

    • Wendy Delfosse on November 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      Here are some comments I hope help. 🙂

      >>As an unpublished novelist, I wrote what I know (advice I’ve heard repeatedly) and researched the rest. I spent hours with a Suffolk County Homicide Detective to assure procedures and details were accurate and realistic.
      –I think you can leave this all out. Presumably an agent would know to write what you know. Marking out that you did the research you needed I think may have the opposite effect of what you intended, making you look more “green” than “professional”. It’s better, I think, that research be invisible than have attention drawn to it. Similarly I think a lot of agents will assume you’re unpublished unless you say otherwise so you may not have to start with pointing it out. Try to find something more entertaining or unique (in the good way) to start out with. You may be able to tie the research you did into that.

      >>I’m the newsletter editor and a board member for the Long Island Authors Group. Professional memberships include: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. I graduated CUNY Queens College with a BA in English Literature.
      –Sounds fine to me.

      >>My professional website is in place, and I have a written business plan. My blog, Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts are all in various stages of construction.
      –I would be careful with this. Include the link to your professional website with your other contact information. I’m not sure a written business plan is the best thing an author can point out (so many things in this business are out of your control) but maybe some or many agents would feel differently. I would strongly advise you don’t point out things that are “in various stages of construction.” Most social media is a work in progress. If it’s not something “ready” for an agent to see you may want to work on it a little more before querying.

      Hope that’s been constructive for you. 🙂

  169. Elizabeth Kitchens on July 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I couldn’t resist writing two bios- one fun and the other serious.

    For young adults:
    Elizabeth ran from the family writing curse for almost 25 years. One day she took a look back, stumbled and fell, and was swallowed whole. The curse drove her to choose a favorite pen and glue it to her hand, to become a member of the ACFW, and to become the Birmingham Gluten Free Examiner for When she’s not thinking about writing fairy tales, she’s thinking about bacteria and whether or not to trust college kids with Bunsen burners.

    Elizabeth is a professional staff member at a beautiful southern university. She is a member of ACFW and is the Birmingham Gluten Free Examiner for

    • LJ King on July 5, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Love it! Great voice!

    • Sophie on January 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      I really love your first one. It had personality and I think many people (other than young adults) would find it funny and quirky. It still has the perfect amount seriousness and information though!
      GREAT JOB!!

      • Elizabeth Kitchens on January 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM


  170. Kathi Oram Peterson on July 5, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Great advice. Wish I had read this last week. Love it so much I linked this to Twitter.

  171. Darrell B Nelson on July 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Darrell B Nelson is a former Securities Broker and Insurance Agent who decided to use the total meltdown of his former industry as an opportunity to pursue a writing career.

    • GLJ on July 7, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      Well done!

    • Connie on June 19, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      Love it. And love he topic

  172. Tania Dakka on July 5, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    This is the only “bio” that I have needed to write:


  173. John Waverly on July 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    I’m still new to some of this, and my bio wasn’t very good. I wrote a new one. Any feedback is appreciated:

    Like most writers, John Waverly lives a triple-life. By day he is a software designer for Fortune 500 companies. By evening he is a coach/taxi driver/chef/referee/maid/psychologist to four wonderful children and tries to complete something off his honey-do list every once in awhile. At night, he writes modern stories full of action and magic.

    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM


      • John Waverly on July 9, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        Thanks Rachelle and Maril for your positive feedback. I updated my bio in several places to use this one.

    • Maril Hazlett on July 5, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      I really did like this one.

  174. Christine Rains on July 5, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Thanks for the tips! I try to customize my bio for different things.

    Christine Rains is a geek, writer and stay-at-home mom. She has four degrees which help not at all with motherhood, but all that knowledge makes her a great Jeopardy player. She has ten short stories published and four forthcoming. You can see her complete bibliography on her website.

    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM

      This is nice!

    • Connie on June 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      I like it very much. Do you biography or bibliography?

  175. Richard on July 5, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    A good post with great tips. And i hope that everyone had a great July 4. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,Pa

  176. Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    I customize my bios according to venue, but this is the one I like the best.

    Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      I like! (Would I be correct in assuming that your novels are not gloomy and angst-ridden?)

      • Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        You would be very much correct. 🙂

    • Maril Hazlett on July 5, 2011 at 11:22 PM

      “dogs of epic proportions” – I almost hurt myself laughing at that. I can so relate.

  177. Jackie Ley on July 5, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Think I had bio and CV mixed up in my head. Plan to enjoy making myself sound a lot more interesting!

  178. Michael Seese on July 5, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    I am a former journalist, but my current day job is in information security for a regional bank. Or, as my son could say even at age three, “Daddy keeps people’s money safe.” I have written three books, all released by small publishers: “Haunting Valley,” a collection of fictional ghost stories centered around my home town; “Scrappy Business Contingency Planning,” which teaches corporate BCP professionals how to prepare for bad things; and “Scrappy Information Security,” which teaches us all how to keep the cyber-criminals away. Other than that, I spend my spare time rasslin’ with three young’uns.

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      I like the level of detail, and I’m intrigued by the books you’ve published! I do wonder why you’re mentioning that your books were all published by “small publishers.”

      • Michael Seese on July 5, 2011 at 6:48 PM

        Karen, I do that to head off the question, “Are they self-published?” My assumption (perhaps incorrect) is that if you’ve been published by one of the majors, then you already have representation, rather than are seeking it.

        If the consensus is that I should not even open that can of worms, then consider your comment to be advice well taken.


    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      I like that you included “small publishers” which suggests that maybe those books weren’t self-published so at least I get a better sense of your publishing history. I think it’s probably unnecessary to include all three titles. Perhaps include your best one, and then say “and two additional novels.” Under your signature, you can include a link that says, “See Michael’s books on Amazon.”

  179. Sharon A Lavy on July 5, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    Okay, I’ll play, but I will have to work on this and come back later.

    20 or 30 things I am willing to share about myself? Gag. This may take awhile, even knowing I will be able to delete most of them in the polish.

  180. Lisa Marie on July 5, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    I’ll have to really think about that author bio. I’d use a nom de plume. I’m a private person. That’s what’s great about ghostwriting. Someone else’s name gets Googled, and it’s not mine. 🙂

  181. Neil Ansell on July 5, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    Here is the bio from my first book, a memoir – Deep Country; Five Years in the Welsh Hills. (Written by my editor, not by me.)
    ‘Neil Ansell now lives in Brighton but still regularly visits the cottage at Penlan in Wales. Since the years he spent there, he has become an award-winning journalist with the BBC.’

    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 5:44 PM

      This works really well.

  182. Aimee L. Salter on July 5, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    Aimee L. Salter heralds from the Pacific Northwest, but has been sighted in such exotic locations as New Zealand and Mongolia. A self-proclaimed coffee officianado, she channels the excess energy to wrangle her young son – and write books she hopes his girlfriend will read when he’s in high school.

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      I really liked this bio — the tone, the scope, the humor and the ambition! A couple of technical points: I believe “hails” may be what you meant by “heralds”, and “aficionado” is spelled, well, “aficionado.”

    • Jenny Lee Sulpizio on July 5, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      Aimee-LOVE the bio and your sense of humor. 🙂 Great job.

  183. Mary Aris on July 5, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Mary Aris was born in Miami, Florida and raised in New Jersey. She has written over a thousand poems. Two in particular, ‘Phoenix Rising’ and ‘Fire in the Sky’,in memory of the victims of the World Trade Centre were published in the local papers, ‘The Jersey Journal’ and ‘The West New York Reporter’. Melodies of the Heart is Mary’s first published book featuring twenty-nine of her best poems on the subject of love. Mary worked as a Library Assistant at the West New York Public Library for twenty years. She lives in England with her husband, Alexander.

  184. Rona Go on July 5, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    One of Rona Go’s favorite phrases is from a study of Dostoevsky’s work by William Hamilton — Banished from the land of unity — inspiring her ideas of a protagonist as one who is heroic and dark at the same time and her preference for a villain as your regular villain but with a heart.

    With a strong background in Philosophy and Theology, Rona Go envisions her writing career positioned in the general market with the elements of her Christian faith experience as her potent trademark.

  185. Giora on July 5, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    “My novel moved to the second round at Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2011. The novel is also written as a Musical with great original melodic songs. My education includes a PhD from NYU and I’m a nice man”

    That’s what I put in the section of “author bio” at the end of my query. It’s definetly not terrific, but my education, experience and work have nothing to do with my debut commercial novel.

    • Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Based on some discussion on this point at the Southern Kentucky Writers’ Conference, I’d recommend against mentioning the ABNA second round. Those familiar with the ABNA competition will know that making the second round is about your pitch, rather than your partial or full MS. But I’d be interested in hearing contrary views (including whether it’d be worth mentioning having made it to the 3rd level, based on partials, but no further…).

      • Giora on July 5, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Thanks Karen, and you are right that moving to the second round is based on the pitch only. I almost moved to the third based on the excerpt (got good reviews), but one reviewer didn’t understand to where the storyline is going (which you can’t know without reading also the pitch). I changed the end of chapter 1 to solve this confusion. Personally, I don’t think that moving to the second round at ABNA is a big accomplishment, but that’s is the only thing I have to put that is relevant for fiction writing. Best wishes with your novel.

  186. Kate Larkindale on July 5, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    I have a pretty standard one I tend to use for most things… I don’t think it’s particularly ‘wow’, but it says stuff about me.

    ‘Kate Larkindale is a currently Wellington based writer, cinema manager, film reviewer and mother to two boys. She’s constantly amazed she has any time to write, but doesn’t sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found with a cup of strong espresso in her hand’.

    • Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      Consider removing this part of this sentence. “She’s constantly amazed she has any time to write, but”.

      Instead replace it with “Kate doesn’t sleep much. …”

      I found myself stumbling over the sentence as is–I think because it was referencing two different actions. Changing it to “Kate doesn’t sleep much.” it flows more naturally to the next sentence.

  187. Linda Hoye on July 5, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    I am a full-time HR Business Analyst and a part-time writer; a Canadian currently living in Washington state with my husband and our two doted-upon Yorkshire Terriers. I’m working on a memoir about my journey as an adoptee to find healing from deep and unrecognized grief. My story is one of loss and reunion; secrecy and truth; and ultimately faith and redemption. I nourish my muse with caramel frappuchinos and Yankee Candles and when I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time back in Canada with my husband, our children, and our two brilliant grandchildren.

  188. marta on July 5, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Question. I’ve done a lot of querying online, and so my bio, such as it is, is in the email. My one publishing credit is with an online literary journal. So, when I put the site of journal in the email, I could set it to link to that journal. Should I? On the one hand, that seems presumptuous and why would they bother to go see it? I mean, they might, but seems unlikely. But on the other hand, in this digital age, links seems the norm. I mean, if they wanted to check my credential, isn’t that simpler?

    Of course, I’ve got only one credit. Putting the link also struck me as a bit over the top. LOOK! SEE! I’VE GOT A CREDIT!

    Anyway, I’ve no read guideline about this at all.

    Thank you.

    • Rachelle Gardner on July 5, 2011 at 1:47 AM

      Sure, include the link. It’s helpful, if they do want to go check it out.

    • Betty Leaver on October 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      As a publisher, I ALWAYS check out any writing that has been cited in a query letter. A link is helpful, but if it is not there, I will google it — and find out much more about the author along the way. I check the popularity of an author’s previous work. (Often the author overstates; I am impressed when an author is fully honest even if a previous book has not set any records.) Remember, anything about you on the Internet is available to a potential publisher. Be careful what you put out that, and assume that anything you write in a cover letter or query will be checked out by an astute publisher. (I am probably one of the few editors who will actually provide critical feedback to new writers, including what I found out online where there is a discrepancy.)

      • marta on October 12, 2012 at 12:47 AM

        Thank you for the reply. I didn’t mean to suggest I wouldn’t be truthful. I teach and I google student papers often to check for plagiarism and things. I don’t know why anyone would lie in the cover/query letter. It’s wrong and you get caught.

        I just wondered if it is seen as a help to put the link in my email to make a publishers job easier, or is that seen as pushy?

        • Betty Leaver on October 12, 2012 at 2:28 AM

          I can only speak for myself. I don’t consider it pushy; I consider it informative and helpful. (Obviously, most people do not lie in their queries; however, some will say or imply that they have had a “successful” book published — or not note that the book that was published was actually self-published — wherein they define “success” as 25-100 copies sold. Just saying…)

  189. Richard Gibson on July 5, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    For cover copy on non-fiction book on minerals in everyday life:

    Richard I. Gibson is a consulting geologist and historian. After four years analyzing the mineralogy of kidney stones, he entered the oil exploration business as a geophysicist, a professional career that spans more than 35 years. As a geological educator, he has informed audiences ranging from elementary school children to State Geologists of the United States. He’s been a geological Study Leader on Smithsonian Journeys and the Education Director at the World Museum of Mining. Gibson taught college field geology for 14 summers, and explains history, geology, and current events on tours in and around his home town, Butte, Montana.

  190. Katie Ganshert on July 5, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    I really struggle with this one….Kristen Lamb has some interesting and helpful tips for writing a bio. Keli Gwyn wrote an awesome post about bio writing recently as well. Here’s the link if anybody wants to check it out:

    Here’s the bio I sent to my publisher:

    Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. She’s thankful God gave her a husband who suffers through romantic movies, loves talking with her girlfriends about God, life, and books, and is often spotted around town walking her dog, pushing a stroller, and reading all at the same time. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner with Wordserve Literary and blogs at:

    You know, I don’t like it anymore. At least not the first line. Who cares where I graduated? Wonder if it’s too late to change….

    • Alison Treat on November 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Katie, I hate to tell you this and it might be too late, but it sounds like your husband enjoys talking to your girlfriends . . . might want to work on that sentence. I love the info you’ve included, though.

      • Alison Treat on November 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        But I LOVE your website. Please tell me who designed that for you. Thanks!

      • Daisy on December 6, 2012 at 10:13 PM

        Well at least he’s talking to them about God. That should make it a little easier to bear.

  191. The English Teacher on July 5, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    I agree that the bio should fit the style of the book. For example, if the book is humorous or quirky, then a serious bio seems out of place. And if you’re researching Greek history, then mentioning your love of Sci-Fi is a bit odd.
    I enjoy the quirky bios most, but that’s just my preference. 🙂

  192. Lucille Zimmerman on July 5, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Lucille is a counselor and an affiliate faculty member at Colorado Christian University. She has a passion for helping hurting people and is currently working on a book about self-care. On a typical day you may find her walking her son’s dog Chipotle, reading, writing, grading, and seeing clients. She loves good coffee, fly-fishing, Honey Nut Cheerios, and belly laughter.

    • Regina Sokas on July 5, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      Hi. I would consider changing “helping hurting people” to helping hurt people or wounded people or something else. I found that I stumbled the two h—ing words together.

      One counselor to another… 🙂

  193. Gillian Marchenko on July 5, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Gillian Marchenko holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis on writing from Moody Bible Institute. Her work has appeared in “Mom Sense Magazine”, “EFCA Today” and The Four Cornered Universe, a digital literary magazine. She is a Chicago Special Needs Parent Examiner for and has contributed on-line to Chicago Moms Blog and Grown in My Heart, an adoption network. Currently, Gillian is finishing a memoir entitled “KRASATA, A Memoir of Motherhood, Down syndrome and Unexpected Beauty” about giving birth to her daughter Polly and her diagnosis of Down syndrome in the former Soviet Union.

    • GLJ on July 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      “holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis on writing from Moody Bible Institute.”

      You might change the modifier, as this could be read to imply that you “write from” the Moody Bible Institute. Maybe put “with an emphasis on writing” in parentheses in order to make clear that it is the degree that is from Moody. Or put the “emphasis on writing” after Moody.

  194. Ilima on July 5, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    For a picture book query letter: “My previous work includes the picture book KA’IMI’S FIRST ROUND-UP (Island Heritage, 2008), as well as an adult nonfiction book, also with Island Heritage, for which I won the Hawaii Literary Arts Council’s Elliott Cades award in 2007, considered the state’s top literary honor. I’m also an award-winning journalist, working as a staff writer for The Maui News for the past 10 years, and have freelanced for local and national magazines.”

    Thanks for any feedback!

    • Maria Zannini on July 5, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      I like this. It’s to the point and speaks specifically to the genre you write.

      I might delete this part “working as a staff writer” because it sounds redundant, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

      Good job!

    • GLJ on July 7, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      “for which I won the Hawaii Literary Arts Council’s Elliott Cades award in 2007, considered the state’s top literary honor.”

      I would suggest dropping the “considered”, as it weakens the phrase and might come off as defensive explanation.

  195. Karen A. Wyle on July 5, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    For a book jacket for a science fiction novel: “Karen Wyle has been reading science fiction nonstop for some decades. The day she met her husband, they spent two hours talking about Robert Heinlein. Eventually, inevitably, she ended up writing science fiction. Karen is also a photographer, writes picture books, follows politics obsessively, and practices law. She has two daughters who are also writers and artists.”

    • Lani Wendt Young on July 5, 2011 at 2:00 AM

      This is my favorite out of all the ones posted so far. I like the way you’ve personalized it with the detail of how you and husband first met. This is intriguing, different, creative and still manages to tell me that you are a kickbutt sci-fi writer.
      (now im going to run off and tweak my own bio since Ive been inspired by yours! Thank you for sharing it.)

      • Jimmy John on December 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        This author bio seemed a little personal to me. In my opinion it should be more about hobbies, awards, and education than your husband and how many boooks you have read.

        • Adaline Raine on January 17, 2013 at 9:59 PM

          Not everyone has awards and education to add. Just because you are published does not mean you spent x years in school earning x, y, or z degree. I like this style because the reader will remember it. I could care less how many letters a writer has after their name unless I am reading a medical book.

          • kassie ritman on February 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

            Agreed. If it is nonfiction, I wannna know you have some credentials to teach me or sway my opinion. If it’s fiction, I just want to know that you’ll tell me a great story.

            Boby—go home. I think your pants need to be changed