Monday, September 14, 2015

Your Bio--Connect to Your Readership

By Janie Reinart

Connect with your young fans on your website, blog, or book jacket with a kid-friendly bio.  

Some tips to try:
1. Keep it short
2. Tell something quirky. 
3. Personalize with some of the favorite things in your life.
4. Be playful.
5. Add a photo.
Here are some of my favorite examples:

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen never thought she'd grow up to be a writer. As a child, she thought of being a doctor (but she's afraid of blood), a lawyer (but she doesn't like losing arguments), a carpenter (but she's too clumsy), a model (but she likes eating too much), a presidential candidate (but she had a dissolute youth), a UN ambassador (the argument losing thing again)... almost everything but a writer.

Sudipta visits schools to share her stories and experience, and teaches writing to children and adults. She lives in New Jersey with her family and an imaginary pony named Penny.

Drew Daywalt

Although Drew Daywalt grew up in a haunted house, he now lives in a Southern California home, haunted by only his wife, two kids, and German Shepherd. A Hollywood screenwriter by trade, The Day the Crayons Quit was his first book for children. His favorite crayon is Black.
Peter Brown

Peter Brown writes and illustrates books for young whippersnappers. He grew up in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he spent his time imagining and drawing silly characters. He studied Life Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks, and then got his B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Ame Dyckman

Ame Dyckman reads and writes picture books when she SHOULD be sleeping. She's the award-winning author of BOY + BOT, TEA PARTY RULES, WOLFIE THE BUNNY, the upcoming HORRIBLE BEAR (Spring, 2016), and more she can't talk about yet. Ame lives in New Jersey with her family, her crazy cat, and the characters from her books. Follow Ame on Twitter (@AmeDyckman), where she Tweets picture book reviews and pretty much everything that pops into her head.

Josh Funk

Josh Funk grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts alongside his wife, children, and assorted pets & monsters.

Josh is the author of LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling), as well as the forthcoming picture books DEAR DRAGON (Viking/Penguin 2016), PIRASAURS! (Scholastic 2017), JACK! [and the beanstalk] (Two Lions, 2017), and more.

Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.

I have been working on my bio. Share your bios and pictures with us in the comments. Have fun!

Janie Reinart wears many hats, performing as a clown in children’s hospitals, sharing original tales in schools as a musical storyteller, and volunteering as a poet in residence at an inner city school to help children find their voice. Best of all, Janie loves playing with words and writing for children. She lives in Ohio with her husband, and is always up for a game of cards, hopscotch, or dress-up. Just ask her thirteen grandchildren.


  1. How fun to read these kid-friendly bios!

  2. Excellent, Janie. Our bios SHOULD reach our true audience. These are such fun examples that showcase a range of styles. I like yours, too.

    1. Thanks Kathy. I think the kid-friendly bios are such a playful invitation for the readers to find out more about the authors and writing!

  3. Great Bios. I really need to work on mine. I think this is the one I have in my book, Fun Through the Seasons. It seems a little long:

    Janet and her husband Charley live in picturesque West Virginia. She is the mother of three grown boys. They have a yard filled with apple trees, flowers, blackberry patches, blueberries, grapevines, birdhouses and birdfeeders. When not outside enjoying nature, she sits at her desk and writes for children.
    Janet’s writes articles for children in Two Lane Livin’ Magazine. She includes poems, recipes and crafts in her Fun Facts for Kids column. A member of SCBWI, Janet enjoys writing picture books and middle grade novels, bringing her thoughts, dreams and imagination to life. Refusing to grow up, she sits at her writing desk, her inner child flowing onto the paper.

    Any suggestions?
    For some reason, I can't comment under Open ID. But, my writing site is

    1. Janet, love your bio. Here is my suggestion. Cut 19 words. :) What do you think?
      Memberships etc. can be added in a longer bio on your site under more info about the author.

      Amidst apple trees, flowers, blackberry patches, blueberries, grapevines, birdhouses and birdfeeders in West Virginia, Janet and her husband Charley enjoy nature. Janet writes for children including poems, recipes and crafts in her Fun Facts for Kids column. Refusing to grow up, even though she has three grown sons, she sits at her writing desk, her inner child flowing onto the paper.

    2. Thanks, for your suggestions, Janie!

  4. These are great! But isn't there a difference b/t the bio you would use professionally (such as with editors and other industry professionals) and the one that might appear on your book jacket for your younger readers? I'd love to hear others thoughts on this!

  5. Yes, Lindsay, there are different kinds of bio's and of course your conference bio , query bio etc, would be different than your kid-friendly bio. :)

  6. Great post! Another author with a funny bio is Adam Rex ( Underneath, it says, "For a useful bio, click here." So that might be one way around Linsday's question above.

    1. Lori I like Adam's bio too! Lol
      "Little is known about Adam Rex. He weighs roughly 80 kg and is composed primarily of water and carbon. He is visible with the naked eye..."

    2. We live in the same city as Adam and I got him to come for an author visit at my kids' school back in February, right before HOME was released. It was an awesome visit--the kids loved it (me, too!).

    3. Lucky you and lucky students!

  7. Replies
    1. Stacy, thanks for stopping by. It gives you a lift to read fun bios!

  8. Janie-Love the fun kid bios! Thank you for sharing them.

  9. Not a dull bio in the bunch! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jilanne, I love how they get the essence of their personalities in the bios!

  10. Great examples. I have seen others put both on their website, with " longer" or "publicity" bio listed below the kid-friendly one. Time to go rethink mine. Thanks.

  11. Wow. What a neat topic. So much fun to read those.

    1. Sherri, I agree. A kid's job is to play and have fun. So it really works to have a playful bio!

  12. Great post, Janie! I've struggled with my bio and think it's pretty ho-hum. Even though I don't have a website yet (I know! Super-awful procrastination!), I've had to provide one for my agent and for school programs. Time to rethink, methinks. LOVE the examples -- something to aspire to.

  13. Laff worthy bios - all.
    And what about the gre8t photos - yurs incld, Janie! Impressed about your clown skills, living as I do in the state that once had the top clown college. Did you pick up
    classes in a wkshop or study with a clown?

    I agree about the varied forms for the bio depending upon location of it & audience.
    Today I visited with 2 K classes with my reading puppet, BookBear & all the
    bio that I needed to say was the I was his pal.

  14. Thank you, Janie, for sharing many tips, examples and great ideas for creating an author's bio.