Getting published: the writer's CV

As a writer applying for jobs or opportunities, there are times you may be asked for a writer’s CV. Here’s a short guide to help you make sure you’ve got what you need.

Illustration of a page of writing

A writer’s CV is very like a traditional CV, except it is only about your writing or literary achievements. Some awards or opportunities may ask you for a writing CV alongside the rest of your application. It’s a quick and easy way for a panel or organisation to get an overview of your writing achievements to date. As with traditional CVs, there’s no hard and fast rule, but there are a few things worth bearing in mind.

We’ve listed some things to include below but do remember to tailor your CV to suit the opportunity, making sure you keep information short and sweet while including everything relevant to the application.

Essential things to include:

Your contact details: Include your email address (does that look professional? If not, this is a good time to update!). You should also include your phone number and a link to your blog or website (if you have a writing-related one).

Your agent’s details: If you have an agent, include their name and the agency.

A very short bio: A sentence or two about the kind of things you write and what you’re currently working on is enough.

Awards and achievements: List any competitions you’ve won or writing residencies, festivals and writing events that you’ve been invited to or participated in.

Publications: Include the details of anything you’ve had published - articles, stories, poems, flash fiction and where they’ve been published. Also include details of any blogs or reviews you’ve done. But do be sensible, if you’ve published 200 stories, pick a few you’re most proud of and add a note indicating there are many more.

Optional sections:

Education: If you’ve got any qualifications or have passed any courses related to writing, you can include those here.

Work experience: Some jobs may be a handy thing to include on here. For example, if you’ve ever run writing workshops or worked as a writer in a professional capacity, add them in.

Testimonials: You may have nice quotes from people you’ve worked with or that have been shared about your writing. One or two of those can be a nice thing to include.

References: If you have professional people who’re willing to vouch for your writing and general reliability, you could include their names and details too.