Sunday, May 6, 2012

We've Won the NMPW Awards! (Oh, and a thing or two about bios.)

On behalf of each sister at the Sisterhood, Sister Lorena and I have accepted the annual New Mexico Press Women's first place award for best informational blog focusing on a specific topic (writing)!

We want to share this award with each and every one of our followers, readers, anonymous looky-loos, etc., because it's you who help make this blog a success. When we started Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood two years ago, our goal was to write not only informational articles for our chosen audience, but to also engage in dialogue with other writers out there. Writing can be a lonely profession when left to oneself, but we at the Sisterhood believe that it doesn't have to be. I'm very proud of each and every one of my sisters and the fact that they have taken time out of their busy lives to contribute to the success of our blog! Thank you ladies for traveling the lonely road of publishing with me. At this point, I don't know if I could continue without you!
♥ Mary Mary

If you're interested in reading either of the two articles that Sister Lorena and I submitted for the contest, please feel free to click on the links below:

Interview with Western Author Melody Groves ~ by Mary Mary

To Err Is Human, To Learn Divine ~ by Lorena

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

On to my thoughts about bios!

Perhaps you're one of those aspiring writers out there who doesn't believe in entering contests. I mean, why should you have to pay money to have your work read, right? Well, I hear ya, but you have to keep one thing in mind if you're looking for credibility in the publishing world —

What are you going to put in your bio?

I had just this question pop up for me last week. An agent requested my work with synopsis and the dreaded BIO! What could I actually say about myself that related to writing? Just like a resumé asks you to list all your up-to-date work history, a bio needs to include your writing and publishing history (and not a thing should be mentioned about the number of cats or dogs you live with). Sounds simple, right?

Well, not really.

Unless you're publishing articles, novels, stories, books, etc. on a regular basis, then you need to start somewhere. But where to begin? Contests, my friends! I've written about the usefulness of literary contests in the past and I continue to feel that they are not only great in getting your work read by those in the industry, but they can also open doors to other writing-related things as well. Five years ago, when I started writing my first novel, I didn't have one piece of writing cred to my name. Period. Now, this is what I list in my bio:

  • The five awards I've won and the names of each since they are scattered across the country.
  • The contests I've judged. FYI -- If I hadn't have won in a couple of those contests then I never would have been picked as a judge for the other ones.
  • My association and membership with the state's writing group.
  • The conferences I've attended.
  • My educational background, which in the writing world is very important.
  • The fact that I am actively writing another novel and give a hint as to what I'm writing.
  • And now, I can add the award-winning Sisterhood blog!
I don't believe an aspiring author should write alone in a padded cell, devoid of all noise and the insight of others. If we did, we'd never get published, and I don't know about you, but that is my ultimate goal as a writer!

I encourage you, if you've never stepped into the contest waters, then do so. Try it out, see if you've got what it takes to win!

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear any great contest stories in the comments below (or any tips on bios that you might have)!

15 comments:

  1. That's wonderful news. Congratulations. Good thing about internet awards, you don't have to fight over who gets to take the award home.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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    1. Thank you, mooderino! This isn't actually an internet award. It's an award given by a state-sponsored program and goes to those who work in any form of press or media that enhances the awareness of the state, in this case, New Mexico. There are categories for photography, magazine articles, media outlets, blogs, etc. We did qualify to go on to the National Press Women's awards, but there are extra fees involved for entering and we just couldn't afford that at this time.

      Thanks for your encouraging words!

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  2. I am terrible proud of belonging to the Sisterhood and have no words to express the joy (and gratitude) about the Award. But it doesn´t surprise me, any project that involves such talented, hard working ladies as my sisters is bound to get recognizition. Thanks for the bio tips, but I don´t know why you have trouble writing your bio. You have enough to fill two pages, so much experience! Good for you!

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    1. I love you, Violante! You're awesome and you are such an integral part to the Sisterhood that I don't know how we'd manage without you!

      And thanks for your kind words as to the bio. I just wanted to give some ideas other aspiring writers hadn't thought of when it comes to creating a bio. I hope I've helped others in some small way!

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  3. Ditto Sister Mary, Mary. I'm sure you have helped many (myself included) Sometimes, our mind goes blank when demanded to write about ourselves. We can´t seem to distinguish between the important and the trivial.

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  4. Thank you, Sister Mary, for your diligence in entering our blog to this prestigious contest!

    About bios... simply put: I hate them. (More so than synopsis!) I have a hard time determining what is important enough to mention (aside from contests). Plus, I never know if I should write them in first or third person (I've read both suggestions). Fortunately, agents don't seem to request them very often :-)

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    1. I agree, bios are a pain. But are they harder than the synopsis? I don't know . . .

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  5. Congratulations on the well-deserved award. I agree that contests are a great idea. I've entered a couple--never won.

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  6. Congratulations on your award! It goes to very deserving writers. I love coming here and always learn something. Go from strength to strength!

    Denise

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Denise!

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  7. I'm so pleased to hear about the award! Thanks to Sister Mary Mary for her hard work there. As for bios, I don't like writing them either, but they don't especially stress me out. I agree that your bio should be easy to write: you have much to be proud of!

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    1. I actually don't mind bios too much either. They're usually simple and to the point. It's just knowing how much to add or take away and what are the most important things that should be in one's bio. I 100% believe a synopsis is way harder to write!

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  8. Congratulations! Well-deserved. :)

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