There are two things to remember when writing a literary bio:
So, first, let's have a little therapy session. Some roleplay. You're a snazzy literary agent at a swanky New York party full of people doing snazzy and swanky things. Now, who walks in?
Well, it's your client: You!
Look at you. Fuckin' yum.
Time to make your elevator pitch. Be simple. Be succinct.
There. Therapy over. Now, take that information, mash it together into a paragraph, and slap it into your cover letter. Boom, bang...boing? Whatever. You're done.
If you're new to writing, pretend you're a narcissist on a date. Talk about yourself in the third person and leave out the bad stuff.
But always (always) check through a lit mags submissions guidelines for what they say about bios. Some will ask for them to be super short. Some don't care. Some want them to tickle. (For example, The Molotov Cocktail just wants two clever sentences.)
Best method: Read five or six of the bios of writers they've published (They're found below each of the stories you absolutely read because you read every magazine you submit to. Right?)
Did we miss something? Comment below with your advice and we’ll add it in (if we agree).