Pageant biographies are an opportunity for you to tell the viewers of the pageant -- including the judges -- a little bit about yourself, while simultaneously giving them some added incentive to pick you to be the winner. Pageant biographies should always emphasize the positive qualities of your personal background and attitude, highlighting accomplishments that can be universally recognized as positive or beneficial. Writing a biography for a pageant requires thoughtful composition, careful proofreading and thorough editing.
Open your biography with a short sentence indicating who you are, where you are from and when you were born. Think of the opening line of our biography as the lede of a newspaper article; you want to hit as many of the five Ws (who, what, where, why and when) as possible. For example, “Sally Anne Carothers was born in Salkehatchie, South Carolina, in 1986 and has spent all her life in Bamberg County, the daughter of a pig farmer and a homemaker.”
Transition from your opening line into an expanded explanation of your early life and how that led you to where you are at the time of the pageant. For example, if you experienced abuse as a young child, you might say: “Because of her years in an abusive household, Sally Anne has dedicated her life to ridding the world of domestic violence and child abuse. She currently volunteers at the Children’s Home Society and American Red Cross.”
Identify an important figure or figures who have influenced your life. These figures can be famous or not. For example, “Sally Anne finds personal strength in the words of wisdom provided to her by her mother, Shirley; her pastor, Jim Thompson; and the late Mother Teresa.”
Include some words of wisdom provided to you by one of the aforementioned figures that have influenced you. For example, “Sally Anne’s personal motto comes from Mother Teresa, who once said ‘Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.’”
Describe how you have used your words of wisdom to accomplish the things you have. For example, “It is through the power and lesson of these words that Sally Anne was able to overcome adversity and become the first college graduate in her family.”
Conclude with your plans for the future and how potentially winning the pageant in which you are entered will help you achieve those plans. For example: “Upon completion of college, Sally Anne plans to start a charitable organization whose goal is to help abused and neglected children in Bamberg County achieve her level of success. If she wins, she will use the notoriety gained from this pageant to help grow this charity to other counties in southern South Carolina."
- "How to Win Your Crown: A Teen's Guide to Pageant Competition"; S. A. Bordenkircher; 2005
Samuel Hamilton has been writing since 2002. His work has appeared in “The Penn,” “The Antithesis,” “New Growth Arts Review" and “Deek” magazine. Hamilton holds a Master of Arts in English education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Arts in composition from the University of Florida.