Keeping Track of Your Writing Achievements

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

It’s important to keep up a writing resume to track your writing achievements. If you don’t keep track of what is going on in your writing career right when it happens, back-tracking will be very difficult. Having an up-to-date resume will help you put together proposals, show the strength of your platform, and may also help you get speaking/teaching engagements. Here are some of the items to keep track of on your writing resume:

Awards: When you receive notification that you are a semi-finalist, finalist, or winner be sure to add that to your resume. This goes for writing contests, too. If you’ve been awarded any honor for your writing, be sure to keep track of it.

Conferences: Another part of your resume should be conferences attended. It’s a great idea to show on your resume how you are continuing to grow as a writer by attending conferences and learning from experienced writers and marketers.

Speaking: Keep track of your speaking engagements, too. Be sure to get down the date of the event, the location, the topic you spoke on, and approximately how many people were in the audience. If you’ve taught at conferences, keep track of  those events as well. It also is a good idea to film yourself speaking (well, to have someone film you) occasionally. Having a video can come in handy for booking future engagements or for marketing purposes.

Books/Articles published: Keep track of all of your published works. When and where did your published work appear? If you’ve written an article, what is the readership of the magazine? If you’ve written a book, keep track of how many copies have been sold.

Subscriptions/Memberships: Are you a member of RWA, ACFW, CWG, SCBWI, a critique group, or do you subscribe to something like Mike Hyatt’s online platform university? Be sure to keep track of these items and put the start and end dates of your involvement.

I hope you all have been keeping good track of your writing profiles on your resumes! I know that I haven’t kept track of my speaking engagements and conferences. If I were to put together my “agent resume” it would take me weeks at this point, and I’m sure I would forget to include important items.

If you have a writing resume already, what other types of things do you put on it?

How have you done with keeping track of your writing profile?

10 Responses

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  1. Carol Ashby says:

    Off topic: Andrew is fighting a bad infection, and he would appreciate prayers for a few days.

  2. Along with articles written, it’s good to keep track of guest blogs and interviews that you do. You can include a list of those on your website, along with the links.

  3. Carol Ashby says:

    Rachel, this is a great list of resume items that would apply in lots of nonwriting fields, too.
    *I find it interesting that you’ve included something that would raise eyebrows (in a negative way) on a regular job-application resume. I’ve been involved in the interview process for quite a few people, so I’ve seen a lot of resumes. Unless it was an invitation-only conference that was tops in its specialty, I would have wondered why a person felt their resume was so weak that they mentioned conferences they attended where they weren’t an invited speaker, workshop teacher, panel discussion member, or organizer (with their specific contribution described if there isn’t an official title for it).
    *I would consider a “Subscription” heading suspect, but listing the Hyatt Platform University under an Education heading would seem reasonable.
    *It’s interesting to see the odd things that might be important for an agent to decide to “hire” a writer.

    • Sarah Sundin says:

      Before I was published, I listed conferences I attended in my query letters. I think it shows a writer is working hard to learn both the craft and the industry, and that the writer is willing to make an investment in the profession. Also I had no writing credits and a degree in a non-writing field, so I hated to leave the field blank 🙂

  4. Rachel, this is an interesting post. I have never considered a “writer’s resume” and am curious to whom this would be shown? Perhaps others here have some insight into this.

  5. Great post. Things I hadn’t thought of. Thanks.

  6. I have kept records and a hard copy file of everything I’ve had published, but never thought of Including conferences I’ve attended. And some of my records of speaking engagements are on software I can’t access anymore and I hadn’t thought to print them out. Oh, the joys of modern technology.

  7. Jamie Chavez says:

    I don’t really keep a résumé anymore, because I have a website. That grew from a résumé-like document I called my editorial portfolio. 🙂 One more thing I keep, thought, for those days when I need to self-encourage, is a folder with thank-you notes and other encouraging words from publishers and authors. 🙂