How to write an author bio for submissions

Author bios can seem difficult. It’s impossible to narrow a person down to a few sentences. But writers also do the impossible all the time.

My experience with this is limited to Submittable. Most places ask for a bio between three to five sentences long. Bios are simple and can have a bit of creativity involved. Most include:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Credentials
  • Achievements
  • Personal touch

Name and occupation go together in the first line usually. For example, Robin LeeAnn is a writer and freelance editor. It’s also good to mention that bios are 100% in third person.

Credentials include if you have a degree or how long you’ve been writing. Some writers, if they’re writing nonfiction, will state their knowledge in that field. This is usually said in the least amount of words. Something short and sweet. If you’re writing a bio in three sentences, this is something added to the first sentence, or I’ve seen a few leave it out.

For achievements, mention previous books you’ve written, short stories you’ve published, etc. It can be as simple as: She has published two flash fiction pieces with Friday Flash Fiction and a short fiction piece with the Aspec Journal. If you have a lot of achievements, mention a few that are relevant to what you’re writing or submitting to. So, if your submission is for fantasy, mention your fantasy achievements.

Also, you can make a blanket statement like: She has published over fifteen poems and five short stories.

The last sentence is usually a personal touch. This is something memorable or a quirky detail that stands out. A lot of writers will mention where they’re from, their pets, or other hobbies they have besides writing. If you’re a humor writer, this could be the time to show off some of your humor. You can also mention your blog, website, Twitter handle, etc. for others to follow.

But remember that your bio is never final. Change it up as life changes.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, leave a comment down below!

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