Catholic Press book award winners

Congrats to the following OSV authors! Awards were announced June 15 at the annual Catholic Press Association awards banquet:

Gretchen R. Crowe – Second Place in Prayer for Why the Rosary, Why Now?

Sherry Weddell – Honorable Mention in Spirituality for Fruitful Discipleship Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World

Susan Tassone – Third Place in Prayer for St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners

Art & Laraine Bennett – Third Place in Family Life for Tuned In: The Power of Pressing Pause and Listening

Fr. Thomas Berg – Honorable Mention in Pastoral Ministry for Hurting in the Church A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics

How to write an author bio

One of the first things authors are asked for after their manuscript has been accepted is an author bio. And many authors ask: How do I write my author bio?


Back cover author bio.

Actually, you’re probably going to need more than one bio. But to get started, focus on a short, 150- to 200-word sketch, sharing who you are, your background, and any other info you think readers should know about you. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into it, either!

Here’s a short checklist:

  • Write in the third person (unless you’re asked to do otherwise). [Mary Smith lives in Anytown, Indiana, with her husband and five children. …]
  • Be factual. Include experience that relates directly to your book. For your short bio, mention only the most recent/most pertinent experience; you can be a little more thorough in a longer bio. [Mary has worked in a parish for 10 years, mostly in religious education with a focus on teens. …]
  • Mention your education. Include your degrees in a short bio and more info in a longer one. [Mary graduated from XYZ Catholic College with a degree in theology. …]
  • Mention pertinent memberships or interests [Mary is a member of  the National Catholic Educational Association. ….]
  • Keep it short and sweet. This is the time to remember your lessons from Strunk and White.
  • Be sure to mention any unique aspect(s) of your work experience, education or personal life that arememorable. [Mary has traveled to Marian shrine sites on three continents. …]
  • Include your author website. You can also include social media handles if you’re okay with that information being public.
  • Send a good headshot photo along with your bio. This should be 4 x 6, and at least 300 dpi.

Here’s an example from the OSV Catholic Bookstore of a “short” bio for author Tim O’Malley:

Timothy P. O’Malley, Ph.D., is director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy in the McGrath Institute for Church Life. He teaches in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He researches in the areas of liturgy, catechesis and Christian spirituality. He is the author of Liturgy and the New Evangelization: Practicing the Art of Self-Giving Love (Liturgical Press, 2014). He and his wife, Kara, live in South Bend and have one son.

Here’s a good article for more information, with examples.

Dig a little deeper with this article for a bio that will get attention on Amazon (great for your Amazon author page!).

Find some advice from Ingram here.

If you’ve never written a bio before, this author has some hand-holding advice. And this author has some things to avoid.

If you need help or advice, or if you have advice for your fellow authors, let us know! Email Mary Beth at

Upcoming webcasts

WebcastsTopJune 5 — Restoring Trust: A Couple’s Guide to Getting Past Porn, presented by Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., SATP-C.

June 13 — The Ever-Present God, presented by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.

June 19 — Saintly Secrets, presented by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker.

June 21 — Life and Love: Opening Your Heart to God’s Design, presented by Terry Polakovic.

June 27 — Media Matters, presented by Teresa Tomeo.

June 27 — How Basic Study Principles Enhance Lectio Divina by Karl A. Schultz

Just click here for more info and to register for any of the webcasts. Can’t listen in at the time scheduled? No worries. They’re archived!

Want to present a webcast on your book or interest area? Just let us know. Email Tracy at

Website basics

(from the March 2018 newsletter)

It’s never been easier to create and maintain a website. So why don’t you?

Maybe because it seems a daunting task. Or too time-consuming. Or you’re not sure what to include. Or you don’t want to blog. Or you’re not sure exactly what a website would do for you. Or you’re just having a hard time getting started.

You’re not the only author to have these concerns. The truth is, while you should have a site, it can be as simple or as complex as you have time and talent for.

Your Author Toolkit team is here to help, so if you have specific questions, give one of us a call or email and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Here’s a good starting point from Jane Friedman: “The Basic Components of an Author Website.” It’s an overview and introduction to getting your website up and running. Be sure to read the section “Continue improving your site over time.”

On a budget with time constraints? Check out these free website builders. Wix seems to lead the pack!