Saturday, October 18, 2014

Poem On Pen Names

Every author is published under a pen name, whether it's their real name or not.

 Some writers are known mainly by their pen names. Mark Twain. Ayn Rand. Ray Bradbury. George Orwell. Dean Koontz. Michael Crichton. Lewis Carroll. 

There are some writers who don't want people to know who they are, because they're too famous.  Robert Galbraith. (J.K. Rowling). J. D. Robb. (Nora Roberts). Mary Westmancott. (Agatha Christie.) Richard Bachman. (Stephen King).

Others want to avoid the disappointment of parents or judgement of co-workers. Pablo Neruda. (He wrote sexy poems!) E.L. James. (She wrote a sexy Twilight fanfiction!)

There are writers who think their real names are boring. Cassandra Clare. (Judith.) Diablo Cody. (Brook.) Euphrosyne. (Julia.) Ogdred Weary. (Edward.) Raccoona Sheldon. (Alice.)

Other writers think their real names are embarassing! Anne Rice. (Her real name is Howard!) Franklin W. Dixon. (He wrote the Hardy Boys and his name was Leslie.)

Sometimes girls pretend to be boys. George Eliot. George Sand. (George is a popular choice.)

Other times boys pretend to be girls. (though not nearly enough do.) Edith Van Dyne. (He was L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz.) Polly Baker. (He was Benjamin Franklin, who couldn't stop using pseudonyms. He was also Silence Dogood, Alice Addertongue, Anthony Afterwit, Benevolus, Busy Body, Caelia Shortface, Martha Careful, and Richard Saunders.)

Sometimes writers choose to be gender-anonymous. Robin Hobb. 

Pen names also run in families. Ellis Bell. Acton Bell. Currer Bell. 

Initials are very frequently used. J.K. Rowling. A.A. Milne. J.R.R. Tolkein. C.S. Lewis. George R.R. Martin. P. L. Travers. 

Some writers make like Bono. Avi. Havank. Herblock. Gulzar. Moliere. Ouida. Voltaire.

A few authors anglicize their names. Joseph Conrad.

Some creative authors make themselves charactersLemony Snicket. Newt Scamander.

Occasionally, writers make themselves doctorsDr. Seuss. 

One real doctor and writer changed his name to protect the anonymity of his patientsJames Herriot.

Real name or no, pen names are often an extension of a writer's creativity!


  1. What an interesting post, Ellen. Educational, too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, joyousreads! I tried to do something a little different since I'm still working on finishing books.

  2. I loved this! So interesting :D I'd heard of famous writers changing their pen names so as not to disappoint readers with sky-high expectations but I'd never heard of gender-anonymous names OR boys changing their names to girls :D This was fun and easy to read and I am especially surprised by the author of the Wizard of Oz and I found the bit about E.L James really funny.. I can see exactly why she might want to change her name. Imagine popping down to the shops and having EVERYONE know you write dirty fiction and yourself knowing that EVERYONE has read it! No thankyou! Anyway :3 Loved this post! I'm gonna follow you in every way I can x

    1. So glad you liked the post. And thank you so much for the follows!. I returned the favor and followed you back!