Build a Better Bio

Saturday, July 25, 2015
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What’s one thing freelance writers, bloggers, and authors all have in common? They all need a bio. A writer’s biography, or “bio,” for short, is important for several reasons. If you’re a freelance writer and/or blogger, it shows off your area(s) of expertise and entices editors and other potential clients to hire you. If you’re an author querying agents and publishing houses, your bio is the chance to let your personality shine through and convince a gatekeeper to read more of your work.

Trying to put together a bio for the first time can be overwhelming. The good news is that you can (and should!) have multiple bios on hand at all times depending on why you're using them. Here are a few things to consider when putting together your bio:

Write it in third person. Describe yourself as if you are an objective observer. “Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor . . .” Don’t be shy. Now is the time to brag on yourself and all your wonderful accomplishments.

Highlight your clips. Mention publications where your work has appeared, so readers can read examples of your work and get an idea of your style and voice.

Affiliations and achievements. Include memberships and organizations pertinent to your career, as well as achievements, such as writing awards.

Have a call to action. List your website, blog, and places others can find you on social media.

Put some personality in it. Keep the writing tight and fresh, and don’t be afraid to mention interesting facts and tidbits to keep the reader interested.

Here are a few examples of bios I’ve used in the past:

From my website: Renee Roberson is an award-winning professional freelance writer, editor and blogger with hundreds of print and online articles and columns to her name. Her experience includes a background in journalism and communications, public relations, writing for regional parenting and city magazines, a daily newspaper and websites and e-zines. In addition to writing, she offers editing and researching services to clients through a variety of mediums and helps authors publicize their books through blog tours.

From The Writer magazine: Renee Roberson, a freelance writer from Huntersville, N.C., has written for regional and online parenting markets since 2005.

From Renee Roberson has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in Charlotte Parent, Carolina Parent, Lake Norman Currents, The Charlotte Observer, Today's Charlotte Woman, The Writer and Roberson has a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

From a literary agent query: Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Based in Charlotte, N.C, she is also hard at work on her next book, a contemporary YA novel. Her flash-fiction piece, "In the Depths," placed in the top ten of the WOW! Women on Writing Fall Flash Fiction Contest in February 2013. You can view her online portfolio at

Now it’s your turn! Share one or more of your bios with us in the comments below.


Crystal Otto said...

Great post Renee!!!

Here's one of my favorite bio's (from Google) but you've got me thinking about revamping it! Thanks!!!

An expert of taking life's lemons and turning them into the sweetest lemonade you've ever tasted!

Introduction: I am Crystal Otto (formerly Crystal Casavant) - Writer, entrepreneur, over-achiever, and talented hard-worker. I own Relax Consulting, I am a Blog Tour Manager for WOW! Women on Writing, I am the owner of a dairy farm, I am a professional musician, and my favorite titles are: Mom and Wife. I spend my time doing things I love, with and for those people I love.

Connie Koehler said...

My bio is about a page long and could use some shortening, or icing (wink). Here goes:

Constance Faith Koehler (Connie) has a natural talent to create. She drew and created things all through her life. Her family did not realize her talent, not even after an ink, straw, and crayon piece she created in first grade called the, "Gumdrop Tree," which was put on the front cover of the Alabama school Journal in 1964.
She was born in Gadsden, Alabama where she attended first grade. Her family moved around, finally settling in Florida. Connie has lived in Vero Beach for over forty years where her two children and her two grandchildren were born.
In 1996, Connie painted a small painting. From the results of this painting, her family and friends realized her talent. It was then they encouraged her to take lessons. Connie also writes poems and stories, enjoys photography and graphic design. She sells and donates her work. As a professional artist, she illustrates her stories.
Her local Press Journal newspaper and published some of her work. A few titles are, “Luckily, I didn't get the beak,” “Honeybees provide an interesting interlude,” and “Outdoor exploration.” The Press Journal published her opinion, “Add Parenting to Our Academic Curriculum” as well as her opinion on “Black Friday.” One painting featured in The Vero Magazine, another hung in Duval's Gallery, Key West, Florida, juried art shows accepted her work, and her local newspaper featured many of her photos (One of which won a second place photo contest).
She gives thanks for these gifts because they aided in her confidence. Doors opened and self-esteem boosted into a higher self-esteem.
Because of these talents and the encouragement of loved ones, Connie went back to school, received her high school Diploma, received her Administrative Assistance Certificate for completing Office Skills Technology, and then she graduated with high honors and received her A.S. degree in Graphic Design Technology. Connie became a member of The 2013 All-Florida Academic Team. In 2014, Connie was nominated into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
In 2006, Connie fought Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Large B Cell cancer and won that battle. The cancer is gone. She has been clean and sober for over 37 years. Connie has blossomed into a fine artist and a remarkable person who is willing to share her experience, strength, and hope with others. She enjoys helping others, and has found that in doing so, strengthens her.
Connie has received an Honorarium and several appreciations for her time, her generosity, and her hard work.
Honorarium from Mental Health Association --- Bryce Band Scholarship fundraiser --- Appreciation award from the Vero Beach Theater Guild --- Cancer Society --- Students and clients --- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Connie's message to others:
Believe in yourself, find something you like to do, and then go for it, do it. We all have an innate ability to create. Be thankful for what you have, and DO NOT limit yourself in achieving what you do not have. Remember by giving you receive, by loving you receive love, and it is a good feeling to give and receive love.

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