Ask Wendy: Your Writing Questions Answered

Wendy Burt

By Wendy Burt-Thomas
Q: I just got an acceptance for an article that may turn into a regular column. The editor asked me to send a bio. What exactly should I send?

A: Because your column isn’t confirmed yet, my guess is that the editor isn’t looking for something to add to the contributor’s page, but rather a bio to go at the end of your article. Look at a past issue to see the length of other writers’ bios. If you have something to sell or promote (ebook, book, newsletter, website or blog), do it here. (If you don’t have any of the above, read Christina’s new book, Get Known Before the Book Deal to see why you should.)

A simple, two-sentence bio might read:

“Wendy Burt-Thomas is a freelance writer in Colorado Springs. She welcomes your writing questions at http://askWendy.wordpress.com.”

When you’re confirmed as a columnist, your bio will likely be longer, perhaps more relevant to your experience writing that particular issue’s column, and likely accompanied by your photo and/or email. Check out the contributor’s page in Oprah’s O Magazine or Shape magazine to see a good example of this.

The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-ThomasWendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer, editor and copywriter with more than 1,000 published pieces. Her work has appeared in such varied publications as MSNBC.com, NYTimes.com, Family Circle and American Fitness. She is the author of three books: Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for One (McGraw-Hill, 2001); Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick (McGraw-Hill, 2003); and The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters (Writer’s Digest, 2008). Visit her at http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com or her blog, http://askWendy.wordpress.com.

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