How to Write an Author Bio When You Don't Feel Like an Author…Yet

This post by Anne R. Allen originally appeared on her blog on 9/9/12.

Maybe you’ve got a novel finished and you’ve been sending out queries. Lots. And you’re getting rejections. Lots. Or worse, that slow disappointment of no response at all.

Or maybe you write short fiction and poetry and you’ve got a bunch of pieces you’ve been sending out to contests and literary journals. You’ve won a few local contests, but so far you haven’t had much luck getting into print.

You may still be afraid to tell more than a handful of people you’re a writer. You’d feel pretentious calling yourself an “author.”

But it might be time to start—at least privately.

Because one day, in the not too distant future, you’ll open your email and there it will be:

The response from an editor: “You’re the winner of our October ‘Bad Witch’ short story contest. We’d like to publish your story, Glinda: Heartbreaker of Oz in our next issue. Please send us your Author Bio.”
Or just when you were giving up hope, you get that reply from your dream agent: “I’m intrigued by your novel Down and Out on the Yellow Brick Road. Please send the first fifty pages, and an Author Bio.”

You’re so excited you’re jumping out of your skin, so you dash something off in five minutes and hit “send.” Wow. You’re going to be in print! Or maybe get an agent. Let’s get this career on the road!

Whoa. You do NOT want to dash off an author bio in five minutes. Every word you send out there is a writing sample, not just those well-honed pages or stories.


Read the full post, which includes a 10-step guide to writing an author bio, on Anne R. Allen’s blog.