ACWC Writers Blog

Bio, Bio, Who's Got the Bio
Thursday, January 4, 2024 by Cindy Sproles

Image by Angelo Esslinger from PixabayWriting your bio will be one of the most challenging things you do as a writer. There is so much required of such a tiny piece of writing. So let’s get started.

WHY IS A BIO IMPORTANT?

A bio tells the reader who you are, and it’s important for a couple of reasons. First, to let folks know who you are. You may write an article and it requires a one-line or 25-word byline. Secondly, you may need a more in-depth bio that gets into your schooling and work experience. Regardless of which one is needed, writers need to understand the types of bios.


THREE TYPES OF BIOS

  1. The byline – A byline lists your name and generally where you are from or what position you hold. This little gem is generally 25 words or less, and it’s usually found in newspaper articles or articles in magazines. Space is very limited in these places, hence the word count. Short and sweet.

 

Example: Cindy K. Sproles is a novelist living in the mountains of East Tennessee.

Or

Cindy K. Sproles is a novelist and writing coach with Write Right Author Mentoring Service.

 

  1. The relaxed bio – The relaxed bio may go by a multitude of names, but its job is the same. This is the bio we find at the end of a blog post, social media, and personal interviews. The relaxed bio gives the reader a quick insight into who you are. You can share tidbits about your hobbies or family (just remember, readers don’t need every child listed or grandchild – that’s a bit too much. Rather, saying Cindy is the mother of four adult sons and two grandboys is enough.

 

Example: Cindy K. Sproles is an author, speaker, and conference teacher. She is the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and has served as a past managing editor for two publishers. Cindy is currently a mentor with Writing Write Author Mentoring Service and travels nationwide to teach writing. She speaks regularly at women’s retreats across the country. Cindy is the author of five Appalachian historical novels and three devotionals. Her next novel will be released in June of 2024. Cindy loves teaching about the mountains of East Tennessee and taking care of her brood of chickens. She lives with her husband in the mountains of East Tennessee and is the mother to four sons and two grandsons. You can reach Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.

 

  1. The professional bio – The professional bio is usually listed inside of a proposal or other business-orientedImage by Pexels from Pixabay publications. This bio will not list family or hobbies. Rather, it is strictly professional. Inside this bio, you will list education, important accomplishments that pertain to your writing, and information about specific publication experiences. You will also show past work experience that might highlight writing and publication. Think business professional. Professional bios are usually longer and more detailed.

Learning to present the right bio at the appropriate time is important. It’s nice to know what you have accomplished, but that doesn’t mean you list every contest you have ever won or placed. Stick to the most pertinent and recent.

It’s also important to understand that your bio is not what sells you to a publisher. It helps them know how you can help market your book. What sells your work is your writing, so don’t get carried away with overzealous bios. Showcase who you are and what your abilities are without making yourself seem more than who you are. Be creative.  

Your assignment this week is to look at your bio. Take time to write three bios – the byline, the relaxed, and the professional. Tweak these to read clean and smooth without overstating your accomplishments and have them ready to use in your next work.

 

      Photo one –  Image by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay  Photo two – Image by Pexels from Pixabay


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