Writing your own BIO

I got a nibble on one of short stories the other day from an online magazine.  I am—as they say—up for consideration in the next issue.  (An exciting, but noncommittal statement.) I am worried about the story’s reception.  The magazine is traditionally murder mysteries; however, in the guidelines the editors requested more stories with a paranormal slant, so I subbed a story with these criteria in mind.  However, just because the editors want to move into the paranormal that doesn’t mean that the readers want paranormal, and, if I remember correctly, they do allow comments.  You know what I’m saying? I could really get slammed in the reviews.  I’m still chewing my fingernails, wondering if I selected the right story, because I do have some realistic murder mysteries…Dang!

Anyway, it brings to mind those mini-bios (25 – 100 words) that editors always want you to write about yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the opportunity to plug myself and put in a link back to my blog or other publications–not like there are that many–or, as they call it in writer’s lingo my ‘platform.

What’s funny is that these ‘bios’ at the end of the story should be written in the 3rd person, as if the editor interviewed you and you are both big pals.  But it is common knowledge that these bios are written by the author of the story, poem, or whatever.  So, you have the problem of writing about yourself without sounding egotistical and, at the same time, promoting yourself.  (Don’t be shy.)

The first bio that I ever wrote was the toughest, because, at the time, I didn’t have any other publications to fill space or even a blog to list.  Anyway, it would be prudent to pre-write a short bio in the event that someone wants to publish you, especially that first bio.

Please, don’t write dull and trite things like:

born in…                                                                                          

has two Chihuahuas….

loves cheesecake….

I guarantee that you’ll be embarrassed one day, and it would be a shame to labor over your prose, get published and then stick a sloppy bio at the end.