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 Post subject: Query "bio" advice?
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 12:25 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
Posts: 1053
Hiya everybody!
I've been reading this forum since I started freelancing about a year ago, and have picked up lots of good tips - a general "thank you" to all!

Finally blundered through registration (sorry Angela :? ) and now I've got up my nerve to dive in with you folks (Hey, quit splashing! Hey! :lol: ) This is all new to me, and it took me about a half-hour to figure out how to post something, but now I'm here. I think I'm here. (Am I here?)

I'm hoping you experienced query-writers will share some advice re: editors who require a "brief bio" with a query letter. I always include a paragraph in a query that sort of says "here's why you should hire ME to write this piece), but I don't think of that as a "bio." What do you all think a "brief bio" should include, and what form should it take?

Thanks in advance for any info!
(I AM here, right?)
Piper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 1:23 pm 
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Joined: September 12th, 2003, 10:47 pm
Posts: 455
Sounds like what you are doing is what is expected in a query. . ."here's why you should hire me to write this piece".

A brief bio is usually asked for to run with your article.The ones I've been asked for have been limited to 2 or 3 sentences. When they say brief, they mean brief. :)
Since they are limited, my bio reads differently for various publications.

If I'm writing on the subject of reunions, I am a veteran reunion planner with however many years experience; for parenting magazines, my writing interests lie in the subjects of parenting and family matters; when I write about caregiving, I mention I have experienced caregiving. If you have expertise in the subject you are writing about, that should show in your bio so your reader knows you are knowledgeable on the subject.

Sorry. . . took the long route in telling you it sounds like you're doing the right thing already.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
Posts: 1053
Thanks very much for the input! I'm glad you think I'm including the right material in the query letter - I do wonder, especially when I'm pitching something to a new magazine or one that uses mostly staff writers.
Sometimes when articles are in layout, editors have come back and asked me for that 2-sentence bio that follows an article, but most have just given me the byline. It never occurred to me (until reading your message) that I could just include that mini-bio when I submit finished assignments.
Did I mention I'm new at this?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 4:38 pm 
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Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 4:38 am
Posts: 585
Location: Chained to an oar.
Although this has never happened to me, I just thought of another reason to include a brief bio. The editor may eventually have an assignment that matches something in your bio. For instance, if I include the facts that I have cats, got my college education in chemistry and physics, and study martial arts, the editor might remember those things when he needs a writer for an article on disposing of household chemicals, pet first aid, or tai chi for the elderly.

I would think, anyway. I don't go after article assignments, so I might just be talking through my hat.

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Some days you're the dog. Some days you're the hydrant.


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PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 5:19 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
Posts: 1053
Thanks for your thoughts, Sensei - That's kind of what I was thinking too. I wasn't sure it's what the editors are asking for, or if they just want the "why you should hire me for THIS assignment" stuff. I happen to have gotten a few assignments on the same general subject (different publications) and it would be nice to branch out a bit. That's why I wondered if other writers include the kind of things you mentioned - education, professional experience, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 6:57 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 2:44 pm
Posts: 184
Location: Wisconsin
Your bio should be around 50 words, I'll PM mine to you.

I put my Bio under my name on my resume, does anyone else do that?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 8:15 pm 
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Joined: July 14th, 2004, 8:45 pm
Posts: 2399
Location: australia
The query letter is information about the article. It's purpose is to convince the editor that it's a great idea and you should be the one to write it.
The Bio is information about you, which is [usually] put at the end of the published article.
EG Joe Bloggs, a Harvard graduate and freelance writer, lives with his five cats and pet octopus somewhere near the coast of Maine. As well as writing, he teaches Karate and holds writing workshops for the illiterate.
It gives the reader a little information about you, which demonstrates your 'authority' in the subject, with some details that prove you are person of charm and personality. (That is, it's ok to like you.)
Hope this clears it up a little? If not, ignore the above. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 11th, 2005, 9:24 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
Posts: 1053
Holy Smokes, Wendy - the five cats may have been a lucky guess, but how did you know about my octopus?!!

Seriously, thanks very much - you really explained the difference very well, and I appreciate your advice.

Best regards,

J. Blogg


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