Anyone Writing Under A PenName? If So, Why...?


I definitely understand this.

I don’t want my bored, very Catholic grand-pa to google me one day and find:

  • A research article I co-authored.
  • A photo of me in the newspaper from winning a 5th Grade Regional Science Fair.
  • Lesbian Erotica.


Exactly!! Family gatherings are already hard enough with comments on me being single, wearing ripped jeans, having multiple piercings, etc. I’d really not like to add things like “she wrote a story that talked about sex, must be a nymphomaniac” to the list of things I want to fight them for.


Ah, yes.

Ye Olde: Hello, it is I, the queer goth cousin who’s necklace is in fact made out of a squirrel skull. (this is my version at least lol)


I originally wrote fanfics and didn’t want my real name associated with them. I eventually changed my pen name to another pen name as I started putting out original works. I feel more comfortable writing under another name.


Yes I will be writing under a pen name for a few reasons. My #1 reason is to keep my Author career separate from my daily life. I plan on going into Cosmetology School sometime soon, and I don’t want my writing career to interfere with that. And also, my name, like yours, is very common and probably won’t help me sell a lot of books. So I feel like I need to write under a pen name because of that as well.


I think a lot of us fall into one of two camps:

  1. Names to common to stand out.

  2. No one is going to remember your name bc they can’t pronounce it in their heads. (aka me, “Sara DFGHXCVBNGH”)


Right though. XD Don’t get me wrong, I love my name. But it’s way too common to use as an Author name sadly.


I use a pen name. IRL I’m Richard. I’ve always been called by my second name. I didn’t realize it was my first name until I got my birth certificate to join the air force.

My pen name Gerry Saunders. It’s what I answer to, but your won’t find me by using it.


I see A LOT of pen name users here. I guess that is good and mysterious.

I think I found one other person like me.


I’m just a random cat. :3 No name mentioned xD But that’s because I’m a beginner and my writing sucks, so I’m very embarrassed that someone I know could find me and laugh about me. But if I ever publish something on paper I will most likely use my real name.


Actually i am also using a pen name cause i find it fun in hiding my born name and because my name’s pronunciation is difficult. another reason is that i am writing a book but i am sure i am not good at it even using my pen name i am sacred of publishing it so i feel comfortable under this name


I started with a pen name, said forget it and just used my initials and my last name.

I don’t write anything I’m ashamed of having associated with my real name. I don’t have any pressing social issues that require privacy.

I respect everyone’s reasons for using pen names - I just didn’t feel like it.

Having said that – I publish my mother’s works and for a time I didn’t add my name to her work when I was doing more than 50% of the word-count. So I got stuck for about a year, wondering what to do because my name wasn’t getting credit and my book sales tanked.

Right now I’m using both names to keep my work alive. But when I’m doing more than 50% of the word count, I wonder whose story it really is. It is still her work when I started with 1.5k words and I put more than 30k on the finished product?

Just another perspective on the issue of Pen Names.


I write with a pen name simply because I’m not comfortable publishing under my real surname online :slightly_smiling_face:

My first name is slightly different - although it’s actually Holly I spell it ‘Hollie’, basically because at the time I started writing I was active in the Multimedia Designs Club and it was getting confusing with three of us there having the name Holly :joy:


I use a pen name merely because my real last name is several syllables and difficult to pronounce. Otherwise, I’d probably use it.


Personally, I chose one because my name is too long for covers. My pen name just fits and looks better on a cover. :stuck_out_tongue:


I started out using a pen name for my latest books because I previously published (traditionally) under my real name in a different genre (was sci-fi, now contemporary drama). Until recently, agents and publishers often recommended using different names for different genres, so readers didn’t get confused.
However, I think that advice is outdated. Authors these days have so much access to readers (and vice versa), and in fact social media interaction is expected of authors, so it’s easier to put out information and clear up any possible confusion. I’ve decided to indie-publish under the same name I used all those years ago.


I use a pen name because of the content of my writing.

I don’t write erotica, but my characters do have sex on-screen sometimes.

I’m a teacher.

Nuff said.


This is a very good question, and one that I’ve deliberated over too.

My real first name is Ruth (but it is also the name of my main character as well, seeing as she is my alter-ego of sorts). There is also the famous author Ruth Rendell, and I don’t want my name getting confused with hers.

I’ve thought about using my middle name instead, since middle names are barely used these days, except for writing it on official documents and such. If I was going to write an autobiography, I’d use my real name, but if I was going to write a science-fiction novel, I’d use a pen name.


I use a pen name. I go by Lindsay Banks. It is simple, unlike my real name, and gives off a vibe different from my true self. I use a pen name because

  1. I want anonymity. I don’t need anyone I know in real life discovering me.
  2. I want privacy. I don’t need people stalking me. My unique name makes me easy to track down.

You know how some people have names that sound like authors - monosyllables or alliterations? I don’t. So I use pen names that look like it could be an author.


I use a pen mostly because of branding. It’s a little more marketable than my real name although based on my real name and like keeping my writing and my creative persona or alter ego separate from my ‘real’ work and my professional persona since I work with youth and children a lot and although I don’t write anything I consider explicit there are elements that might put more conservative people off and I don’t know how it would be received by employers, parents and guardians and the like. Rather play it safe and not risk my job. I do have friends and family who’ve read my work. I’m not too shy about sharing it when I think it’s presentable but I like that barrier if there comes a day when it’s more widely read.
Besides that, my mother took a pen name based on mine so yeah, really building the brand like the authourial equivalent of a drag house.