Help! I need a biographical note!

It’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to write a biographical note for some of my submissions. The next question is, what should I say.

“Simon Wilson doesn’t like writing biographical notes and thinks it’s none of your business.” is probably not going to win many friends.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what makes a good biographical note? I have several other variations in mind, though they are all variations on a theme.

I’m also trying to work in a reference to the bun being on the top shelf (it’s a high bun) or a line of people on a mountaintop (a high queue) but I’m struggling to make it look seamless.

Then of course there is the picture. Do I take a picture of me as I am now, with the look of a rough sleeper, or do I shave my head and trim my beard and risk looking like the simple cousin of Ming the Merciless?

I don’t even know why they want them, as several magazines point out – these things take space where they could be printing poetry.

Added to that, I’ve done nothing interesting, don’t have Β a degree or an interesting job and don’t believe a list of previous publications is relevant to my next poem.

All in all it’s not an easy question.

Study Number 1 - The Idiot

Study Number 1 – The Idiot

30 thoughts on “Help! I need a biographical note!

  1. Jessica Urquhart

    Maybe you should just get a little silly and creative. Find your quirks and sense of humour, keep it brief but a pleasure to read. Don’t look for big achievements, but rather draw attention to the little things that make you who you are. Just my two cents. Hope it helps.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It is the sort of thing that I favour. I read one recently where the writer wanted to change the world through poetry. I’m happy just to pass an afternoon with silly puns. πŸ™‚

      1. Jessica Urquhart

        Oh, a poet saying they want to change the world through poetry would be a big turn off for me. I’m all for changing the world, but to my mind, poetry is a weak way to go about it. It just sounds like a way to promote oneself and gain an audience, not for quality of work, but merely by trying to appear pious. Better to not take oneself too seriously and show a sense of humour than to come across as pretentious.

  2. Laurie Graves

    Take a look at the bios of other poets in publications that are asking you for a bio. Just for a template, of course. This will give you some ideas about what to do for your own bio.

      1. Jessica Urquhart

        You could say how you’ve wasted 62 years being mediocre, but are a legendary scone eater, so that’s got to count for something.
        πŸ˜‰ Not to say that I think you are mediocre, but if you think so, then have a little fun with it.

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        πŸ™‚ I’d love to be mediocre, I feel even that may be beyond my grasp. However, my capacity to shift scones does take some beating and , as you say, I should build on my strengths…

      3. quercuscommunity Post author

        I will give it a go later. Thank you. That was an interesting book synopsis you have on your site, but I wasn’t able to leave a comment. It seems to have everything it needs, though I’m more of a Golden Age Crime reader, so may not be a reliable source of comments..

      4. Jessica Urquhart

        Everything it needs except for a diligent writer. My manuscript has been waiting around for months for me to finish my final review so I can begin the submission process! And let’s not forget the two other planned books needed to complete the trilogy! πŸ˜…πŸ€ͺ

      5. Laurie Graves

        Nonsense! Your fine writing indicates those years weren’t wasted at all. Often times, creatives live in quirky, nontraditional ways. That is what you have done, and I have, too. What matters is your love of words and poetry.

  3. LA

    Ok I’ve been sitting here for five minutes and all I’ve got is world renowned scone eater and lives with his incredibly patient wife


Leave a Reply