If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Dear Ambitious



 Dear Ambitious,


Thanks for your questions about my blog on writing a 50-word bio.  It was first posted in 2012.  A link below will let anyone read the original blog.

I wrote it for people who had a story accepted for publication in an anthology and who wanted to know more about writing a short biography to accompany their story.  I’m happy to expand on what I wrote back then.

The first rule is there are no absolute rules.  As the author you can do anything you want to do.  On the other hand, some choices make it more likely you will get published and others make it less likely.

Generally, a request for a biography is a request for information about the author, not about the submission.  I’ve been an editor and a writing contest judge.  Nobody who sent information I did not want without information I asked for, got published or won a prize.  That was not from ignoring one of the directions.  In my experience, people who disregarded one guideline also ignored other instructions.  The combination eliminated their work from serious consideration.  As a judge and editor I always had more submissions than space to publish all of them.  Authors who eliminated themselves from consideration made my job easier. 

I don’t want to sound too negative.  As an editor, I was always excited to read well-written submissions from an author I had not worked with before. Editors are looking for work to include in their venues. 

As a writer, I understand your desire to give more information about your story.  I have often heard people at critique groups who wanted to talk about their work before handing out copies.  My response is always, “I don’t want to hear it.” We writers only have the words on the page to convey a story.  We don’t have music to prepare the mood.  We don’t have “freeze frames” to let the audience know who is important.  We don’t have actresses and actors who can say one thing while engaging in activities that contradict their words.  We only have words on the page.  The work stands alone.  By the way most attempts at non-standard language do not work. 

I think it’s great that you have more ideas about the setting and characters in your story.  If your story needs other information beyond what you have written, the information should be included in your story when you re-write it and your story, as is, is not yet ready to submit.  If your story is complete and you have additional information, you might be able to include the information in more stories with or without your main character.  Having a setting or character you know well is a tremendous asset for your career.

Ambitious, if you don’t have publications to refer to in a bio, you can give information about what you have done to prepare for a writing career.  Have you taken classes or attended workshops about writing?  Are you a member of a critique group or writing group like Sisters in Crime or Guppies?  Anything you’ve done with a school yearbook or newsletter would be worth mentioning.  If you haven’t done those things, you might consider starting one or more.  I like your ambition and determination. I believe a publisher would too.

I hope that’s helpful.  

7 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

Wonderful of you, Warren, to take the time to address one reader's concerns. "Ambitious" is a young woman who would like to become a writer, just like all of us when we first realized we wanted careers as writers. Good advise!

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I remember receiving a rejection to a literary magazine prior to earning any writing credits. About my biography (in which I had provided way too much information) one reviewer for the magazine commented to the effect that anything much more than my name and where I lived was superfluous.

A bit harsh, but it did make the point. I now have standard 50, 75 & 100-word bios on my computer that I update as the occasion needs.

~ Jim

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Some publications want bios sent with the submission while others consider it superfluous.

The important thing is to follow the guidelines. Also, gear your bio to the writing area that the pub represents.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, back in my early days of after my first book was finished, I sent out queries to various agents and publishers and if I heard from any of them, I got a rejection. This was in the days before I discovered Sinc or the Guppies. I hate to think of how amateurish those early queries were. I certainly didn't have any writing publications to mention outside of one short story that had won a contest.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Excellent post. For five years I read submissions for The Larcom Review and The Larcom Press, and it was easy to spot the professionals from the wannabes and beginners. I had begun with the assumption that some things were apocryphal but wannabes really did tell me that their friends loved their story and I would too if I had any taste. Some of the cover and query letters were hilarious and I soon read them hoping for a good laugh. The stories we selected almost always came with no or very short cover letters. And the writers always followed the submission guidelines.

KM Rockwood said...

I struggle with requested bios--I have two requests, right now, for short stories that have been accepted for publication. What have I ever done that's interesting enough for people I don't know to want to read? I've fallen back on pretty much supplying the one I have on my author page on Amazon. And I don't supply personal information unless it's requested--I'd rather have the attention on the work than on me.

Shari Randall said...

Great advice. Thank you, Warren.