And the winner is…

After much deliberating and careful consideration for all ten entries in my “Write me a new author biography” contest, I have chosen a winner.

Doing so was not easy. 

I genuinely liked every entry and loved a few of them.  All of them surprised me with the level of detail and insight that they provided about me and my life.

A couple of the entries were outstanding but just not suitable for an author bio, but they could easily be used on promotional materials.  I intend on sending these to my publicist as well.

And throughout the next few days, I will share some of my favorite entries with you. 

Like I said, I liked them all but really loved a few in particular.

And so, without further adieu, the winner of the contest, written by Charles Wolgemuth:

MATTHEW DICKS, who is not one for long, crafted sentences, preferring the stylings of Vonnegut over those of Saramago, is an author whose works, to date, include the novels Something Missing, Unexpectedly Milo, and the as yet unpublished Chicken Shack; a successful blog (; and a number of Op Ed pieces, all of which, at some level or another, tend to examine the outcomes of the quirky and/or rebellious individual when forced up against staid society; however, to say that he is an author is an understatement, for this husband and father from Newington, CT, who has faced a number of near-death experiences, lived in his car, and been tried for a crime that he did not commit, is also an acclaimed elementary teacher who has received the Teacher of the Year Award, is the co-owner of a DJ business, and still wishes that he could beat some of his friends at golf.

I loved this piece for a number of reasons.

First, and most important, the piece possesses an air of self-deprecation that I think is critical to an author bio.  While I cherish some of the compliments lauded upon me by other entries, Charles’ bio sticks to the facts and allows them to speak for themselves, absent any hyperbole.  He hits the highpoints, leaving out the mundane and obvious, and states just enough to whet the appetite of the reader.  And that last line, in which my struggles on the golf course is highlighted, demonstrates my willingness to share my flaws with the public. 

Second, Charles effectively connotes my favorite author and my appreciation for his writing style by crafting the bio in the styling of Vonnegut’s antithesis: Jose Saramago.  I have criticized Saramago;s lack of paragraphs and obscene sentence length many times, preferring the crisp, clean prose of someone like Vonnegut.  And yet Charles manages to demonstrate the effectiveness of Saramago’s style while simultaneously expressing my distaste for it.  Clever.  

And sort of an inside baseball reference for those literarily inclined.

Lastly, I liked Charles analysis of the themes that I seem to return to in all my work, and in fairness, he was not the only person to center on the idea of the quirky or rebellious character battling the expectations of society, but he managed to capture this idea simply and effectively. 

Bravo, Charles, on a job well done. 

Naturally, my publicist and editor are on vacation this week, so I’ll have to wait until next week to see what they think.