How about promoting in your bio your recent books, an interest you’re passionate about, or an organization you’re involved in?
Yes and No
If you’ve written a book or have a ministry, you can mention, “Polly Esther is the author of Disco Witnessing (Way Out There Press). You can learn more about her ministry at StayinAlive.com.”
If you have several books, choose the most current or one related to this article’s topic. When I write about dealing with wayward kids, my bio reads, “Jeanette Gardner Littleton is author of When Your Teen Goes Astray: Help and Hope from Parents Who’ve Been There (Beacon Hill Press).”
If you list an organization, make sure it connects with your topic. With an article about travel, don’t send a bio that says, “Juli Smith is passionate about her work at Credence Life, a home for unwed mothers.”
But it could state, “Besides traveling, Juli is passionate about her family, singing on her church worship team, and working at a home for unwed mothers.” When Juli writes on ministering to pregnant teens, her bio could read, “Juli enjoys volunteering at Credence Life, a home for unwed mothers (credencelife.org).”
If you enjoy speaking and are seeking opportunities, mention you’re a speaker. “Besides writing, Greg Gallagher also enjoys speaking about God and hot rods at youth, church, and civic groups.”
Contact Me—Or Not
After one magazine published my email address in an article about portable church buildings, I got all kinds of odd questions. And that address is still floating on the internet in the magazine archives.
If you give an email address, set up a free account with a service such as Gmail instead of giving your primary address. But list your writing website if you have one.
It’s fine to include a bit of personal information. You can take a conservative approach, “Mark Littleton lives in Kansas City with his wife and children.” Or provide some interesting tidbit: “When she’s not writing, Patty Andrews likes to work with toddlers in her Minnesota church and sing with her two sisters.”
I’ve been known to send in, “When Jeanette Littleton is not writing, she enjoys listening to oldies on her 1960 Seeburg jukebox.”
Some editors love this. It can get boring in a magazine when every author is listed as “[Name] lives in [location] with her husband, [name], and her [number] children.”
Jeanette Gardner Littleton, a CWG mentor, is a fulltime editor and writer. With her husband Mark, she directs the Heart of American Christian Writers Network, serving metropolitan Kansas City (www.HACWN.org).
Image credit: designsstock / 123RF Stock Photo