the good, the bad, and the ugly about the writing life

Does This Bio Make My Ass Look Fat?

Howdy Fictioneers:

Check out Michael’s most excellent post about writer bios. Sadly, I’ve never taken them very seriously, but NEVER AGAIN!

michaelalexanderchaney

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I agonize over every aspect of my submissions to literary journals. Even my bio becomes a fretful source of writerly angst. You might think of a biography as a straightforward collection of facts. But it can be tricky. It’s especially tricky if you think about it with a paranoid writer’s brain sick with a steady diet of rejection. Maybe you’ve been getting the standard “Unfortunately, we’re passing on your work” because you mention being from Boager, Arizona in your bio. Maybe editors read that and think, “Hey, this guy’s from Booger!” Perhaps their inability to imagine you as anything other than a giant doofus from a gross-sounding town prevents them from appreciating the majesty of your work.

I see the bio as an opportunity to showcase your skills as a writer. It is a tiny writing sample. Another step in the application process for the job of published writer. For…

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