Of the many things that define an excellent query letter, one of the most helpful is often one of the most under-utilized – the “writer’s bio.” A writer’s bio is typically only about two or three lines long and the conclusion of the letter, and it provides you a chance to close on a strong, positive note. Essentially, you get a few short lines to brag about yourself and leave the reader with a final impression of your qualifications.
One of the first things to remember about the writer’s bio is brevity. No reader in the industry will want to read your entire life’s story. The danger is to over-share unnecessary information instead of leveraging the writer’s bio for its actual value, which is as a space to name one or two of your very best accomplishments or qualifications. These bios can even be what actually determines who does and does not end up receiving attention for a script. If all other things are held constant, a query letter with a great writer’s bio is much more likely to get a script read than a letter that lacks one. It can be very positive to learn something impressive about the person submitting the script, so share what your strengths. Good tips for an excellent writer’s bio include doing the following:
- Touch on (preferably major) contests in which you have placed or won. This is especially true if the script that fared well is the same one your are submitting.
- If you have already been rather successful writing within your genre, share that. If you are dramatically crossing genres, do not make the mistake of assuming just because you know how to write one style means we need to hear about it now that you are writing in a totally different space.
- If you have been optioned, check the legality of sharing which screenplay and who optioned it. Refrain from embellishing though because this info is sure to be verified.
- If professional success is light, then focus on your education.
- If you lack both professional experience and formal education in writing, then use the writer’s bio as a chance to share why you wrote what you have submitted. For example, maybe you wrote a script about modern warfare because you have a military service background. That is the kind of thing that indicates very directly why your perspective and script are worth considering.
Keep these tips in mind and make sure to take time to craft an honest, positive, and impactful writer’s bio for a much more striking query letter and better success.