The biographical sketch section of the proposal is a place for you to really show the agents and editors that you have experience meeting deadlines, being published, and why you are qualified to have written the book you’re proposing to them.
Some things to include:
- Any writing education you have. I received my Master’s in Creative Writing, so I know I’m going to add this into my biography.
- Any published articles or books you already have out there. Have you written for someone’s blog or website? Is any of your writing in a newspaper, anthology, or some other form? I write a monthly blog for Daughters of the Deep.com, and I’ve also written a few blogs for other author’s websites. I have one book that I Independently Published as well. All of this is considered published works, so include them.
- Any awards your works have received. If you entered your manuscript in a contest, and they won or made it to the finals, this is where you put it in the proposal.
- Any public speaking that you’ve done. If you have been asked to speak to your local writing group or a church group, include it here. This means people are seeking you out to share your knowledge your knowledge.
- Have you completed more than one manuscript? Tell them how many finished projects you have. This will show them that you can finish what you start. I think this is especially important for first time authors because it shows you’re willing to work on your craft and perfect it.
- Are you affiliated with any professional organizations? I’m a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and I’m active in their critique loop, so I always include this as well.
You’re biographical sketch should be no longer than about a paragraph. You don’t want to go on and on about yourself, so keep it concise. I wouldn’t go back further than five years with your published works. I’ll include an example of my biographical sketch to give you an idea of what I’ve done.
I have been writing for six years and have five completed manuscripts, one of which I self-published with modest sales on Amazon. I received my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in August of 2014. In addition to my own website, I have also published blog posts with Nicole Jarrell at nicolejarrell.com (Interview with Author Janie Winsell, April 2015 and Gail Kittleson’s Dare To Bloom blog at gailkittleson.com (Building Suspense Until It Explodes, April 2017). Currently, I have a contract to write a monthly blog post for Daughtersofthedeep.com. The Athens Writer’s Group asked me to speak to their members in May 2017 and June 2017. I taught on the subjects of pitching to agents as well as how to find your target reader.
Next week we’ll discuss the Cover Letter.