Journal, Publications

Writing an Author Bio

TLDR: Today we learn, or don’t learn how to write an author’s bio, but at least we get to laugh at this author’s past bios.

The subject of this post is “How to write author bios?” This is not rhetorical, I’m asking. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts and experiences, but I’ll also share how my bio has evolved and share some random examples of other author’s bios that I’ve seen online.

What’s an author bio?

Author bios are brief paragraphs at the end of a novel or short story that tells about the author. For short stories, I worry that the author bio (since it is part of the submission) affects my chances of being published. This is probably foolish.

Example 1: Here is one of my earliest bios in which I attempt to name-drop my past instructors and clarify what kind of stories I’ve had published.

Neal studied creative writing under Nancy Kress, Paul Park, and instructors at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY. He published a dark comedy in Ghostlight magazine’s summer 2010 issue and a dream-like short in Full of Crow’s 2011 winter issue. Neal is currently evolving computer software as a computer science PhD student at the university of New Mexico.

Example 2: I decided to cut the bio down, but really double-down on the name-dropping. Have you heard of Nancy Kress and Paul Park? Not to brag, but they’re kind of a big deal.

The author teaches high school math and computer science in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has studied science fiction writing under Hugo and Nebula-winning author Nancy Kress and Clarion West instructor Paul Park.

Example 3: In my latest iteration I cut the name-dropping altogether and link to my blog.

When not writing the author teaches high school math and computer science. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and their pitbull, Ashaya. His fiction has been published by Ghostlight Magazine, Full of Crow fiction quarterly, and THEMA Literary Journal. The author maintains a writing blog at

Here are some other authors’ bios I’ve found online.

Example A: I find this one to be casual and goofy. I wonder, does she only list publications relevant to the magazine she is submitting to?

Lina Rather is a speculative fiction author from Michigan, now living in Washington, D.C. She wishes she could say she has a dog, but alas, she lives under the tyranny of landlords. When she isn’t writing, she likes to cook, go hiking, and collect terrible 90s comic books. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, and Lightspeed. You can find more about her and her other stories on her website, She also spends altogether too much time on Twitter as @LinaRather

Example B: This bio is short and to the point: 1. Here’s where I’ve published. 2. Here’s where I learned. 3. Here’s what I’m doing now.

Courtney Bird’s stories have appeared in the Fairy Tale Review, the Indiana Review, the Masters Review, and Barrelhouse, among others. She has an MFA from the University of Montana and a BA in art history from Princeton. She is currently working on her first novel.

Example C: The shortest and goofiest of them all!

Sarah Beck lives in the Midwest, and if she’s seen an alien, she isn’t telling.

Example D: Similar to example C, this bio lists previous publications and some awards.

C.S. Malerich lives and works near the District of Columbia. In addition to Ares Magazine, her speculative fiction has appeared in InfectiveInk, The Again, Mother’s Revenge from Scary Dairy Press, and the Among Animals anthologies from eco publisher Ashland Creek Press. “Phoenix Cross,” her contribution to Among Animals 2, was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Visit her online at

In conclusion, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m probably not doing it so wrong that editors are rejecting my stories without reading them. There seems to be no right way to write a bio.


2 thoughts on “Writing an Author Bio”

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