Life in Five Lines

It has occurred to me that recently I have had to condense myself into five lines or less on quite a few occasions.  Almost every time I submit work to a publication, I am required to "say a little bit about myself", and "little" usually means 50-80 words or so.

Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining about the minuscule word count; I do not pride myself on my propensity to talk about...myself.  What I am saying is this: just what to you say in those five lines or less?  How can you best represent the "you" that you want other people to know about? What is essential? What should be omitted?  How do I stand out from the other hundreds of people attempting to do the exact same thing as me? These are hard questions when a deadline approaches and your creativity has been all but sucked out of you, used up, for the most part, by the pieces of writing you actually want to submit.  

I looked to a few online publications and author bios for some support and alas, I found so many accomplished authors whose biographies consisted of list upon list of previous work published in what journal and where and all sorts of indicators to their level of author-awesomeness.  What am I to do as a mere fledgling in the world of publication in times like these?

My answer: I don't take myself too seriously.  I know this will not always work.  I know certain times call for professionalism, for "selling yourself", for maybe making yourself sound maybe slightly more accomplished than you actually are.  Yet sometimes the situation calls for something truthful yet slightly silly, in an attempt to show that the real me, doesn't actually take me too seriously; that I acknowledge I'm a newbie in this world and am trying all the same; that I have to make myself stand out somehow, when my small amount of published work might not be "enough".  A couple of my recent attempts:

"Kirsty *  is an English student at the University of Canterbury.  Her poetry has appeared in teenage diaries, on the front of the fridge, on bits of scrap paper stored in various forgotten drawers, and in numerous handmade cards addressed to her parents.  She hopes to gain a wider audience now that she has finally started to submit her work for publication.    She has a website where she shares her thoughts and writing experiments.  You are welcome to visit it (if you bring tea and cookies)."

"Kirsty * is an English major who once worked in law firms until she saw the light.  Unfortunately, that light belonged to the rear of a 1989 Toyota HiAce, which she now has to live in to support her creative meandering.  Thems the breaks (literally)."#

(# ok, so admittedly this is no longer true.  But at the time of writing it kind of was.  Long story...)

What would you say in a 50-80 word limit?

- because I talked about tea and cookies.  
- no: there is nothing wrong with this image


  1. Oh my! That's my kind of cookie. (I'm hoping the tea cup is regular sized in comparison).
    Personally I like the first 'you' that you suggested. Very cute and a nice twist to the usual submissions.
    Good luck with it all sweetness x

  2. While I am not exactly submitting my work for publication, through my blogging ventures I do know how hard it is to try and condense your entire essence into small, manageable pieces. It's difficult to do while still staying authentic. We humans are complex creatures!

    I must also add that I hope that tea cup truly is teeny because a giant-sized chunker like that cookie would be heavenly!

    Love & Lollies... Jessa

    Caked Vintage Blog

  3. I had to do a very yucky 30 word synopsis in the third person for a website. Horrible!

    I've nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger award on my blog at

    because I love reading your blog so much!

    1. Thank you so much. Woah 30 words that's super hard!