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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Tips for Updating Your Author Bio

Updated: Feb 20

Note: Like most of the posts on this blog, this is geared towards a bio for short stories and the like. A book bio is considerably longer.

Because things are happening, I need to update my bio—which prompted me to research best practices for updating an author bio, whiiiich prompted me to write this post as a practical example.

My current bio—this is what gets sent in my cover letter to short story editors:

Jennifer is an emerging dark fiction writer with an affinity for fairy tales and folklore. She lives in Atlanta with her two cats, and is currently working on a novel.
She runs a Discord server—also named The Bleeding Typewriter—and a weekly virtual writing Meetup, both of which she encourages you to join!

Updating this will be pretty simple. I already follow the basic rules of writing an author bio:

  1. Write in third person

  2. Be concise (~100 words)

  3. Start with a byline of relevant details

  4. Include credentials (i.e. MFA, bestselling author) if applicable

  5. Add an interesting personal fact

I mostly need to add where my work is going to appear.

Jennifer is an emerging writer with an affinity for fairy tales and folklore. Her work is slated to appear in BarBar and on the Kaidankai Podcast.
She lives in Atlanta with her cat, Trouble, and runs The Bleeding Typewriter, a creative writing advice blog.

As you can see, I took out the bit about working on a novel—not because it isn't true, but because one of the tips I read was that nobody really cares about your aspirations; they want to know what you've done.

That said, I've seen author bios with the line "They recently finished their first novel." So if you have a finished, unpublished novel, feel free to include that.

The excellent writing community Scribophile recommends not saying anything negative. So, for instance, you wouldn't say that you're unpublished, but instead focus on the writing you love to do, or if you've done any blogging.

The good folks at Scrib also agree that yes, it's okay to put where your work has been accepted, even if it hasn't been published yet.

So, to recap:

  1. Show what you've done, not what you're trying to do.

  2. Focus on the positives.

  3. Do include publications that have accepted your work.

You've got this!

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