This 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.
What do you think?