This is topic Another Query question in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Jess (Member # 9742) on :
Question: The bio in queries.

what in the heck am I supposed to put? I've barely lived my life.

I'm in my early twenties, barely graduated from college in a degree not related to writing. I've taken three creative writing classes while at college. I regularly attend a local conference. I'm part of this on-line group plus two others. plus a crit group. I have a blog.
but none of these things are really that significant. I worry that my lack of life experiences (its NOT my fault I'm young) will hinder me in a query if I point it out. and if I write anything in the bio section, I feel like it will be pointing it out.
I might be young, but I'm ready for the writing world to take me seriously. I don't want to have to wait several months or years for me to gain experiences.
My gut tells me to just leave that information out, but put my blog link in there.
Posted by Meredith (Member # 8368) on :
Put your blog link in the signature block.

If you don't feel you have anything relevant to put in the query, don't. It's not a requirement. I'm considerably older than you and I don't usually put a bio in the query. Hasn't stopped me from getting at least a few requests.

Be aware, there are some agents who will request a separate short bio as part of the query package, just like some request a *shudder* synopsis.
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
A bio's best when there's relevant writing credits and personal revelations. If there's no relevant writing credentials, leave other ones out, like academic publishing credits unless topically relevant.

If you're a longshoreman writing arsenic and old lace manners narratives, that's a personal touch. Contrary but personal. Something incongrous that reveals personality. A writer of war stories might collect watercolors and pen and ink drawings of exotic carnivorous plants.

When I was an early adult the most personal and interesting fact about me is I had an appointment to the Naval Academy but failed the physical and thus dodged the ill-fated ten years of commitment I was emotionally unprepared for that my parents had set for me in stone.
Posted by KayTi (Member # 5137) on :
Why do you write? That's the most important thing in a bio. Or, another take on it, why are YOU uniquely qualified to write THIS story?

If you have specific writing credentials (no matter how small you think they are) by all means mention them, but this is your chance to tell someone why you're awesome. Maybe it's that you have a lot of enthusiasm, maybe it's that you've pursued this particular area of interest as a passionate hobby for five or ten years. Maybe your experiences as a rowboat salesmen have led you to have a unique perspective on the lives of rowboat captains. Tie it all together for the reader of your query so that you're MEMORABLE.

FYI, when I write this kind of thing, I talk about how when I was a teen eagerly gobbling up the entire SF section of my small school library I couldn't find any stories written about kids like ME. Girls who liked technology but cared what color nail polish was popular. Who were expert at video games but still worried whether a boy would ask her to dance. So I write the stories I wanted to read as a young smart teen girl. (FWIW, this hook works really well with most people.)

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