Pen Names Question

edited March 2014 in Writing
Afternoon TBers

This question may have been asked before but I am wondering how many of you use a pen name and what happens when you submit work. Do you submit using only your pen name?


  • I have two pen names, depending on what I am submitting, but I also state my real name on submissions (usually they've asked for it anyway). Not had any problems so far.
  • Yes important to make it obvious which is your real name, so you get paid with a cheque in the real name.

    General suggestion I've seen, and been told is best, is (real name) writing as (pseudonym).
  • Thanks both :-)
  • Afternoon TBers

    This question may have been asked before but I am wondering how many of you use a pen name and what happens when you submit work. Do you submit using only your pen name?
    If you're referring to magazines - I've no idea. With publishers of novels I withhold my real name until they express an interest.

    I think the author name often contributes to the story.

    e.g. I write a lot of humour. Some of the jokes are funny woman to woman. If written by a man, them man comes across as a misogynist or sexist pig.

    Or if I was to write a first person account of a migrant settling in England, awkward prose written by Michael Scott sounds like awkward prose. Awkward prose written by Carlos Dominguez is charming.

  • edited March 2014
    My friend always submitted magazine fiction under a pen name
    Her cover sheet stated - for example

    Mary Bloggs

    writing as Susy Smith
  • edited March 2014
    I was thinking of asking if Mary has a Blogg - but I won't. >:D<
  • The style I prefer is to monogram with: End of Story JN
    And leave a memorable saying (aphorism) I made up, for good measure. In hopes I will be recognized with my future writings. I leave in my final farewell to readers with: 'Be Immune to rumor". I have many catchy sayings, but be immune to rumor is every ones favorite. I know this by field testing on the public for their candid opinions. Be immune to rumor really has the best mind tingle with most people. It makes them think about what ever they think it means I guess. Thank you for asking, good question.
  • Rumour has it, JimmyNuzz, that you're just a rumour, so I shall take your advice and claim immunity.
    On the other hand, you could be just a typing error. On reflection, that seems more likely, this forum abounds with eccentric typos.Our resident proof-reader will be in touch.
  • I write under a pseudonym, Emma, and always declare both my names as in Carol's and Betsie's examples, above.

    (Real Name) writing as (pseudonym)

    If or when you're sent a contract to sign, it will ask for your contact details and name to be included. Again, in the author's name section, I always write (Real Name) writing as (Pseudonym). Shouldn't be any confusion that way.
  • I write a monthly column using a pen name because I am provocative.
    My observations on church life , preachers, congregations etc are based
    on actual incidents.
  • So, you're the Secret Squirrel inside reporter?
  • That is right! Having retired I hear more preachers and visit several churches.
  • James McCreet is a pen name. I only reveal the real name to get paid or to sign contracts. Submissions are in the pen name.
  • I like it. It's a good name for an author. I can imagine it on the cover of a crime novel. Am I close?
  • Hi

    New here .... but if I could offer some advice based on experience?

    There are a lot more complications to using a pen name than you might think. It can create problems if you register for PLR and ALCS. And then if you ever need to prove your copyright .... that can be a real hassle.

    Worst snag is though that if someone likes your work and wants to get in touch (for example, another publisher who wants you to write for them) they probably won't be able to find you.

    Hope that helps!

  • Yes, I'd agree with that, I've been found via my name SO many times. But that problem disappears if you have an agent.
  • I'm registered for PLR and ALCS and I blog, tweet and have a facebook page using my writing name.
  • I use a pen name for writing M/M romance for which there's a huge market. Where things get complicated is when you have different FB and Twitter accounts for your pen name(s) and real name. FB is dreadful at keeping everything partitioned off and you soon find yourself friends with your pen name personas and then all your FB friends wondering why they're receiving the same notifications from two or three FB pages. And then, pretty soon the secret's out and you have to fess up to writing erotica!

  • Good point, with social media is it really possible to have a double identity anyway? Then again a pen name does mean you can write stuff you might not otherwise write, so it can be very liberating!
  • I was asked to provide TWO pen names for PF some time ago - one annual had 2 of my stories in it, one as me and the other as Nicola Geddes: apparently they won't put the same name in twice in the same annual, not sure about the weekly mag. The second provided pen-name has never been used. I had no trouble with ALCS, I simply told them the pen name and they put everything through.
    If I'd written L-Shades of Grey I'd have used a pen name!!!!!
  • edited June 2014
    If I'd written L-Shades of Grey I'd have used a pen name!!!!!
    If I'D written L-Shades of Grey I'd be a very happy vegemite and wouldn't care less WHAT I was called!!!!

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