4.01.2013

Author Bio - #AtoZChallenge 3.1

Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!

writercize: Every writer or author needs a bio. An author may have multiple bios ranging in levels of personalization and professionalism for book covers, author websites, blogger profiles and query letters. Spend some time crafting your Author Bio today.

Need some great tips on what to include and what to edit? Read this how-to guide by Rachelle Gardner.

Personally, I would recommend something light-hearted for a blog, but drop the hobbies and the humor for anything else.

Click "read more" to see my (third person) author bio from my freelance website.

writercizer sample response:

Meet Alana Garrigues, freelance writer.

Picture Alana believes in the power of words.

Specializing in journalism and creative non-fiction, she also dabbles in children's books.

Alana is a regular contributor to The Beach Reporter, a weekly newspaper serving Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.
She also writes newsletter articles and creates marketing material for community organizations and is the editor of Scribblers Scoop, the quarterly newsletter of Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles

Alana studied marketing, mass communications and international business at the University of Washington in Seattle and Scuola di Amministrazione Aziendale in Turin, Italy. She is a member of Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles (CBW-LA) and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

She prides herself on extensive research and the ability to accurately quote and convey the thoughts, feelings and opinions of her subjects, and she takes joy in breaking complex subjects down into comprehensible form.

Alana is also the author of the blog "writercize," featuring both fiction and non-fiction writing exercises and activities for anyone with ten minutes to pick up a pen or tap away at a keyboard and write.


((An author's website is one of those funny place where there's a blurry line on whether to write in first or third person, and I may switch it to first, but in the meantime, this works for me. Naturally, a fiction query would cut the majority of this out, while a non-fiction query would hone in my platform.))


29 comments:

  1. I keep intending to update my blog bio and my amazon needs an update too. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Susan! Yes, it seems that as soon as an update is complete, it's time for another. :)

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  2. Hm... good thinking. I could probably update my "About me" page on my blog, especially now that the Challenge has started! Pretty impressive bio, by the way!

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    1. Thanks Jaimie! :)

      Yes, I needed the reminder for myself as well - it's high time to update my About Me page on my blog. Actually, it's high time to reorganize and update quite a few pages on my blog ... some Spring cleaning may be in order after we survive (and thrive) in A to Z!

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  3. Great post, I suppose it does help to up date ones bio, but there is always something going on.

    Yvonne.

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  4. We all need reminders to kick-start us from time to time and spring is as good a time as ever.

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    1. Yes, spring is always so full of energy to clean up and start anew! :)

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  5. while I appreciate the need for an author bio on my blog, can it be held as evidence against me?

    ~The Good Twin @
    thewinetwins.blogspot.com

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    1. LOL! Depends on what you are trying to escape from, I suppose?!

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  6. This is great info. It's probably about time for me to reassess some of the bios I use.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Thanks Lee! Yes, it seems there is constant updating to be done!

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  7. This was an interesting post. I enjoyed reading the link to Rachelle Gardner's advice and lots of the biographies posted there.

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    1. Thanks! I was very happy to find the link. Her advise is so succinct and wise.

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  8. A bio? Argh! Really? I suppose it is a must, so here I go and put in on my to do list. Lot's of valuable info, thanks.

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    1. Lol. Sorry to add another item on that to do list! They never seem to shrink, do they?!

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  9. Thank you so much for this information. I just completed the first draft of my first book and my bio is awkward to say the least. I mean what do you say when it's your first book and nothing else you is related to writing? Also you helped me realize I need a different bio for my blog and my freelance work. I'll definitely be back. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    ~Sha'
    http://stfu4abetterrelationship.wordpress.com/

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    1. Congratulations on completing your first draft! Happy dance!

      The first book bio is always the most difficult, for sure!! I think the most important thing is to be honest. If you don't have anything to fluff it up, keep it very brief and maintain the focus on your book.

      A few tips I've heard to include in that "about me" if you're unpublished ... include any writing groups you are a member of, reference conferences or workshops you've attended if the agent / publisher / editor was at the same conference and include a nod to your blog if you either have several followers or have put some serious long-term effort into its content.

      Another tip I've heard is to note if you have a strong connection to the story - for example, if you are an ER nurse and the story is about an ER nurse, mention it to give you credibility. I would be pretty wary to use that though. It sounds a little too close to - "I loved to write stories all the way back in 2nd grade, and my babysitter thought they were really good" - unless it is really, truly applicable. For example, I would use a personal connection to a story for pitching a magazine article, but steer clear for a fiction query.

      Does that help at all?!

      Good luck with revisions and querying!

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  10. Go Alana! Your bio is meaty and covers all of the necessary bases for showcasing your skills, experience and offerings. I prefer to write in first person as often as possible but I'm tickling around with a new third person bio for my website.

    Since I'm using the site as a hub to my other online profiles and my blog, I would like to just write an overall view of what I'm about and then let the work speak for itself. Making movies probably gives me an advantage in that way because I can just slap a video clip or reel up and go "Want to know what I do? Watch this!" Lol.

    -Nicole
    2013 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    www.madlabpost.com

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    1. Aw, thanks Nicole! Always so happy to see your comments - they totally brighten my day.

      Where you see the video clip as an advantage, I would see that as daunting!! Thankfully we each know to work to our individual strengths and admire what the other is capable of!!

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  11. Just what I need, a reminder to reread the bio on my site...I don't remember when I last updated it. That's...not good, is it?

    Happy A to Zing!

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    1. Haha, yes, if you can't remember the last time you updated, it's probably been too long!

      Happy A to Zing to you. :)

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  12. I haven't ever really got a proper bio together, but mine would definitely be light-hearted and...brief.

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    1. Light-hearted is always good for making that personal connection! If you envision what you might want the bio to look like, I think that the simple act of visualization can be a powerful tool to set priorities and make things happen.

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  13. Why is it that I hate writing my own bio so much? It shouldn't be that difficult, but I look forward to it with the same dread I usually reserve for root canals or paying taxes. So silly, but there you go. You've done an excellent job on yours, so perhaps I'll study that for a while and take another crack at writing mine. Handy reminder--thank you!

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    1. It is SO difficult! I generally find the better I know a person, the more difficult they are to describe. Assuming we know ourselves better than anyone else, it's only natural we would be frustratingly enigmatic!!

      Thanks for the compliment. :)

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  14. I do need to update the blogger profile.

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  15. This is great stuff. I always struggle when asked to write about myself and writing it in the third person always seems so weird but this is a timely reminder to do something about it.
    Ann

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