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.    @Cat_Lumb

What do you think?


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 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! 🙂

    • 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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