The Writer’s Biography

mystory_bio_iconThis afternoon I sat down to tackle the challenge of writing a 100-word bio for myself as part of the Good Housekeeping novel competition requirements. Not an easy task, it has to be said. Although, I have to admit I found this a lot easier than a one-page synopsis

I started by making a quick list of all the things about myself I thought would be pertinent. My name, my age, my location, my marital status etc. Then I added in a few random facts that could be used to make me look interesting – rescued a dog, struggled with illness, has an Egyptology degree. Finally I listed all the writing-related credentials I currently have: blog, Literature Festival links and so on. 

Putting all these together I got a somewhat accurate picture of myself that I thought sounded quite appealing. Only, of course, it consists of far more than one-hundred words. So, it was time to boil it down to the essentials. 

The way I see it, Good Housekeeping will be looking to target their expected audience. So my age and marital status are good indicators of this; however, I’m not married, so I jazzed it up a bit by saying my fiancé is ‘wedding-phobic’ (which is true – we’ve been engaged 6 years!). I’m also very proud of the fact I own a rescue Westie, so he’s getting included too. 🙂

Then I constructed a sentence about why I write, or at least how I got back into writing and what I’ve written. I want to give the impression that I’m serious about writing – that I actually have to write and this entry isn’t just a one-off for that novel that’s sitting in a drawer somewhere. Basically, I want to demonstrate I have ambition. 

Then what? Literary achievements. I don’t have many, I haven’t even been published, but I have been short-listed. I’m also actively involved with Literature Festivals, not just by attending but participating and reporting. 

That left me with ten words to play with. 

I want to leave whoever reads it with a lasting impression. Something they can remember me by, that is unique to me and isn’t commonly recognised. There’s really only one thing I can think of that I always find impresses people when they find out. 

So, here it is – my 100-word biography. It’s not a lot, but I think it sums me up as both a person and a writer. 

Cat Lumb is a thirty-one year old Yorkshire lass living on the wrong side of t’hill in Stalybridge, Manchester, with her wedding-phobic fiancé and a rescue dog who is now her shadow.

She began writing again after being diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalitis (M.E) in 2009 and since then has written two and a half novels and a selection of short stories.

In the past year she has blogged for Manchester Literature Festival, been short-listed in a Writing Magazine competition and is an active committee member for the Huddersfield Literature Festival.

She can also read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

www.catlumb.com    @Cat_Lumb

What do you think?

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11 responses to “The Writer’s Biography

  1. Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • No probs: I’m using the Rusty Grunge Theme from WordPress.com I know a couple of other blogs with the same layout, but I like it because it allowed me to personalise my background image.
      Good luck with your blog! 🙂
      Cat

    • Thanks! Glad you like it! It took me a while but I’m pleased with it. Let’s hope it ends up in the back flap of a book one day 😉
      Thanks for stopping by to comment.
      Take Care, Cat

  2. Pingback: Making your Plot Whole (and a note on novel submissions) | Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

  3. Hi Cat I have never entered a writing comp but liked the look of this one. The rules say 5000 words – do you know is that a max or up to? Thanks. Kate 🙂

    • I have taken it to be a maximum, so my novel sample is 4,900 words. I think if there is a natural break in your writing before the 5,000 word mark then you should submit up to that point.
      Good luck with your entry! 🙂
      Take Care, Cat

    • Thanks! 🙂 Am pleased you like it, am beginning to become quite proud of myself for crafting such a fun bio!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Take care, Cat

  4. Wow! That’s what I think. When I first read the bit about you having a degree in Egyptology, I wasn’t sure if you were joking 😉 I am really impressed by that and with the whole piece. Well done. If I ever have to do one, please can I use yours as my model? Wish I’d done a degree in Egyptology though, it’s more interesting than mine in French 🙂

    • A degree in French is impressive – don’t put yourself down!

      I once got myself into trouble dating two guys at the same time – turns out they were flatmates and there really is only one ‘Cat the Egyptologist’ in my area! Whoops! Bad luck for me! Lol

      I think it would be more accurate to say ‘when’ you have to write a bio Julie. You’ll definitely need one on the inside flap of ‘From here to Nashville’ 😉
      And when that happens, sure, model away!

      Thanks for the feedback. It’s made me smile. 🙂
      Take care, Cat x

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