2021 BIO Conference

2021 Biographers International (BIO) Conference

The conference will take place on Friday, May 14, through Sunday, May 16. Fees for the conference are $49 for members and $99 for non-members. All times listed are New York (Eastern Daylight) time. Panels and roundtables are live and take place in real time. Other events are prerecorded and may be watched at your convenience, as indicated. The panels will also be recorded and available to conference participants a week or two after the conference itself.

Friday’s events begin with a welcome by BIO President Linda Leavell and Kai Bird, Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, followed by the presentation of several awards and readings by BIO members from their most recent books.

Saturday’s events kick off with the James Atlas Plenary, “Restoring Overlooked Lives,” featuring David Blight and Annette Gordon-Reed in conversation, followed by panel sessions, which continue on Sunday. Panelists for both days include such prominent biographers as Craig Brown, Claudia Dreifus, Carla Kaplan, Sam Kashner, Debby Applegate, Eric K. Washington, Margalit Fox, Blake Bailey, Jonathan Alter, Leo Damrosch, Heather Clark, Susan Glasser, Ruth Franklin, and D.T. Max. The Zoom meetings will stay open following each panel to allow for informal conversation and one-on-one chatting.

Saturday’s events also include a keynote address by 2021 BIO Award winner David Levering Lewis.

Along with panel sessions, Sunday’s events feature round table discussions on a variety of topics and the announcement of the winner of the Plutarch Award, which will go to the best biography of 2020, as chosen by a panel of BIO members.

Registration is through Eventbrite, and all live and prerecorded events will be held via Zoom.

Please note that this is not an OCLW event.

For all queries about the conference, including registration, fees, access to the events, and the Chip Bishop Fellowship please visit the BIO website

To register for the conference click here

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Chip Bishop Fellowships

Chip Bishop


Chip Bishop, who passed away in 2016, was a BIO Board member who served on the Plutarch Committee. Morris lauded Bishop as a key player in the development of BIO.

“Chip Bishop always told me the early BIO conferences were a huge help in getting his biographies written and published,” Morris said. “He obtained critically important information and landed an agent. There are other ‘Chip Bishops’ out there for whom the conference could play an equally important role.

The Chip Bishop Fellowship is intended for an aspiring biographer who is unable to afford to attend the annual conference.”

For 2021 only, there will be ten Chip Bishop Fellowships offered.

Students and other aspiring biographers in financial need are encouraged to apply.

Deadline May 1, 2021. Apply here.