Writing author bios

I’ve written my share author biographies over the years, and my go-to bio is fairly straightforward: it lists my name, where I’m from, recent publications and this website. If it’s an online publication, or it seems like their readership is fairly hip, I’ll include my Twitter handle. It looks like this:

Nico Mara-McKay is a writer living in Toronto. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, most recently in Broken Pencil, The Antigonish Review, and Contemporary Verse 2. She can be found online at nicomaramckay.com and on Twitter @plutopsyche.

Substitute whichever three journals or magazines I’ve been published in most recently. Standard stuff.

However, recently, on submitting a bio to a literary journal, I was told that it was “perfectly unsexy.” I didn’t know it was supposed to be sexy. Sure, it’s an apocalypse themed issue, and my poem deals with zombies attacking and killing my lover, but there were no sexy examples to set the tone. I tweaked it a bit and came up with this:

Nico Mara-McKay is an agent of the apocalypse immanentizing the eschaton from her secret lair in Toronto. Her propaganda has been published in numerous journals and magazines. Further disinformation can be found at nicomaramckay.com.

I don’t know if that’s any sexier or not, but the editor seemed to like it.

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