A pen name (nom de plume or literary double) is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their "real" name. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise their gender, to distance an author from some or all of their previous works, to protect the author from retribution for their writings, to combine more than one author into a single author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge.
An author may use a pen name if their real name is likely to be confused with that of another author or notable individual. For instance, from 1899 the British politician Winston Churchill wrote under the name Winston S. Churchill to distinguish his writings from those of the American novelist of the same name, who was at the time much better known.
An author may use a pen name implying a rank or title which he has never actually held. William Earl Johns wrote under the name "Captain W. E. Johns" although the highest army rank he held was acting lieutenant and his highest air force rank was flying officer.
Authors who regularly write in more than one genre may use different pen names for each, sometimes with no attempt to conceal a true identity. Romance writer Nora Roberts writes erotic thrillers under the pen name J. D. Robb (such books are titled "Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb"); Scots writer Iain Banks wrote mainstream or literary fiction under his own name and published science fiction under Iain M. Banks; Samuel Langhorne Clemens used the aliases Mark Twain and Sieur Louis de Conte for different works. Similarly, an author who writes both fiction and non-fiction (such as the mathematician and fantasy writer Charles Dodgson, who wrote as Lewis Carroll) may use a pseudonym for fiction writing. Science fiction author Harry Turtledove has used the name H. N. Turtletaub for a number of historical novels he has written because he and his publisher felt that the presumed lower sales of those novels might hurt book store orders for the novels he writes under his own name.
Occasionally, a pen name is employed to avoid overexposure. Prolific authors for pulp magazines often had two and sometimes three short stories appearing in one issue of a magazine; the editor would create several fictitious author names to hide this from readers. Robert A. Heinlein wrote stories under pseudonyms of Anson MacDonald (a combination of his middle name and his then-wife's maiden name) and Caleb Strong so that more of his works could be published in a single magazine. Stephen King published four novels under the name Richard Bachman because publishers didn't feel the public would buy more than one novel per year from a single author. Eventually, after critics found a large number of style similarities, publishers revealed Bachman's true identity.
Sometimes a pen name is used because an author believes that their name does not suit the genre he or she is writing in. Western novelist Pearl Gray dropped his first name and changed the spelling of his last name to become Zane Grey, because he believed that his real name did not suit the Western genre. Romance novelist Angela Knight writes under that name instead of her actual name (Julie Woodcock) because of the double entendre of her surname in the context of that genre. Romain Gary, who was a well-known French writer, decided in 1973 to write novels in a different style under the name Émile Ajar and even asked his cousin's son to impersonate Ajar; thus he received the most prestigious French literary prize twice, which is forbidden by the prize rules. He revealed the affair in a book he sent his editor just before committing suicide in 1980.
A pen name may be shared by different writers in order to suggest continuity of authorship. Thus the Bessie Bunter series of English boarding-school stories, initially written by the prolific Charles Hamilton under the name Hilda Richards, was taken on by other authors who continued to use the same pen-name.
In some forms of fiction, the pen name adopted is the name of the lead character, to suggest to the reader that the book is a (fictional) autobiography. Daniel Handler used the pseudonym Lemony Snicket to present his A Series of Unfortunate Events books as memoirs by an acquaintance of the main characters. Some, however, do this to fit a certain theme. One example, Pseudonymous Bosch, used his pen name just to expand the theme of secrecy in The Secret Series.
Some female authors have used pen names to ensure that their works were accepted by publishers and/or the public. Such is the case of Peru's Clarinda, whose work was published in the early 17th century. More often, women have adopted masculine pen names. This was common in the 19th century, when women were beginning to make inroads into literature but, it was felt, would not be taken as seriously by readers as male authors. For example, Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name George Eliot; and Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, used the pseudonym George Sand. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë published under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell respectively. French-Savoyard writer and poet Amélie Gex chose to publish as Dian de Jeânna ("John, son of Jane") during the first half of her career. Karen Blixen's very successful Out of Africa (1937) was originally published under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Victoria Benedictsson, a Swedish author of the 19th century, wrote under the name Ernst Ahlgren. The science fiction author Alice B. Sheldon for many years published under the masculine name of James Tiptree, Jr., the discovery of which led to a deep discussion of gender in the genre.
More recently, women who write in genres normally written by men sometimes choose to use initials, such as K. A. Applegate, C. J. Cherryh, P. N. Elrod, D. C. Fontana, S. E. Hinton, G. A. Riplinger, J. D. Robb, and J. K. Rowling.[a] Alternatively, they may use a unisex pen name, such as Robin Hobb (the second pen name of novelist Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden).
A collective name, also known as a house name, is sometimes used with series fiction published under one pen name even though more than one author may have contributed to the series. In some cases the first books in the series were written by one writer, but subsequent books were written by ghost writers. For instance, many of the later books in The Saint adventure series were not written by Leslie Charteris, the series' originator. Similarly, Nancy Drew mystery books are published as though they were written by Carolyn Keene, The Hardy Boys books are published as the work of Franklin W. Dixon, and The Bobbsey Twins series are credited to Laura Lee Hope, although numerous authors have been involved in each series. Erin Hunter, author of the Warriors novel series, is actually a collective pen name used by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui T. Sutherland, and the editor Victoria Holmes.
Collaborative authors may have also their works published under a single pen name. Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee published their mystery novels and stories under the pen name Ellery Queen, as well as publishing the work of ghost-writers under the same name. The writers of Atlanta Nights, a deliberately bad book intended to embarrass the publishing firm PublishAmerica, used the pen name Travis Tea. Additionally, the credited author of The Expanse, James S.A. Corey, is an amalgam of the middle names of collaborating writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck respectively, while S.A. are the initials of Abraham's daughter. Sometimes multiple authors will write related books under the same pseudonym; examples include T. H. Lain in fiction. The Australian fiction collaborators who write under the pen name Alice Campion is a group of women who have so far written two novels together - The Painted Sky (2015) / Der Bunte Himmel (2015) written by five and The Shifting Light (2017) by four.
In the 1780s, The Federalist Papers were written under the pseudonym "Publius" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. The three men chose the name "Publius" because it recalled the founder of the Roman Republic, and using it implied a positive intention.
A pseudonym may be used to protect the writer for exposé books about espionage or crime. Former SAS soldier Steven Billy Mitchell used the pseudonym Andy McNab for his book about a failed SAS mission titled Bravo Two Zero. The name Ibn Warraq ("son of a papermaker") has been used by dissident Muslim authors. Author Brian O'Nolan used the pen names Flann O'Brien and Myles na gCopaleen for his novels and journalistic writing from the 1940s to the 1960s because Irish civil servants were not allowed at that time to publish works under their own names. The identity of the enigmatic twentieth century novelist B. Traven has never been conclusively revealed, despite thorough research.
A multiple-use name or anonymity pseudonym is a pseudonym open for anyone to use and these have been adopted by various groups, often as a protest against the cult of individual creators. In Italy, two anonymous groups of writers have gained some popularity with the collective names of Luther Blissett and Wu Ming.
In early Indian literature, we find authors shying away from using any name considering it to be egotistical. Due to this notion, even today it is hard to trace the authorship of many earlier literary works from India. Later, we find that the writers adopted the practice of using the name of their deity of worship or Guru's name as their pen name. In this case, typically the pen name would be included at the end of the prose or poetry.
Composers of Indian classical music used pen names in compositions to assert authorship, including Sadarang, Gunarang (Fayyaz Ahmed Khan), Ada Rang (court musician of Muhammad Shah), Sabrang (Bade Ghulam Ali Khan), and Ramrang (Ramashreya Jha). Other compositions are apocryphally ascribed to composers with their pen names.
Japanese poets who write haiku often use a haigō (俳号). The haiku poet Matsuo Bashō had used two other haigō before he became fond of a banana plant (bashō) that had been given to him by a disciple and started using it as his pen name at the age of 36.
Similar to a pen name, Japanese artists usually have a gō or art-name, which might change a number of times during their career. In some cases, artists adopted different gō at different stages of their career, usually to mark significant changes in their life. One of the most extreme examples of this is Hokusai, who in the period 1798 to 1806 alone used no fewer than six. Manga artist Ogure Ito uses the pen name Oh! great because his real name Ogure Ito is roughly how the Japanese pronounce "oh great".
A shâ'er (Persian from Arabic, for poet) (a poet who writes she'rs in Urdu or Persian) almost always has a "takhallus", a pen name, traditionally placed at the end of the name (often marked by a graphical sign placed above it) when referring to the poet by his full name. For example, Hafez is a pen-name for Shams al-Din, and thus the usual way to refer to him would be Shams al-Din Hafez or just Hafez. Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan (his official name and title) is referred to as Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, or just Mirza Ghalib.
The French phrase nom de plume is occasionally still seen as a synonym for the English term "pen name": this is a "back-translation" and originated in England rather than France. H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler, in The King's English state that the term nom de plume "evolved" in Britain, where people wanting a "literary" phrase failed to understand the term nom de guerre, which already existed in French. Since guerre means "war" in French, nom de guerre did not make sense to the British, who did not understand the French metaphor. See also French phrases used by English speakers.
Angela Behelle (born 1971), is the pen name of Sylvie Barret, a French Francophone novelist.Dear Abby
Dear Abby is an American advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name "Abigail Van Buren" and carried on today by her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now owns the legal rights to the pen name.Ed McBain
Ed McBain (October 15, 1926 – July 6, 2005) was an American author and screenwriter. Born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally adopted the name Evan Hunter in 1952. While successful and well known as Evan Hunter, he was even better known as Ed McBain, a name he used for most of his crime fiction, beginning in 1956. He also used the pen names John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, and Richard Marsten, amongst others. His 87th Precinct novels have become staples of the police procedural genre.Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 guide book written by British author J. K. Rowling (under the pen name of the fictitious author Newt Scamander) about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. The original version, illustrated by the author herself, purports to be Harry Potter's copy of the textbook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US), the first novel of the Harry Potter series. It includes several notes inside it supposedly handwritten by Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, detailing their own experiences with some of the beasts described, and including in-jokes relating to the original series.
In a 2001 interview with publisher Scholastic, Rowling stated that she chose the subject of magical creatures because it was a fun topic for which she had already developed a lot of information in earlier books. Rowling's name did not appear on the cover of the first edition, the work being credited under the pen name "Newt Scamander", who, in the books, wrote this textbook as seen on Harry's supply list for his first year.
The book benefits the charity Comic Relief. Over 80% of the cover price of each book sold goes directly to poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales from this book and its companion Quidditch Through the Ages have raised over £17 million.On 12 September 2013, Warner Bros. and Rowling announced they would be producing a film inspired by the book, being the first in a series of five such films. Rowling herself was the screenwriter. She came up with a plan for a movie after Warner Bros. suggested the idea. The story features Newt Scamander as a main character and is set in New York City, 70 years before Harry's story started. The film was released on 18 November 2016.
On 14 March 2017 a new edition of the book, with cover illustrations by Johnny Duddle and interior illustrations by Tomislav Tomic, was published with six new creatures and a foreword by Newt Scamander. It is assumed to be a new copy as it does not feature any handwritten notes. Proceeds from this edition are donated to Lumos as well as Comic Relief.
On 7 November 2017 a new edition was published with illustrations by Olivia Lomenech Gill, featuring the aforementioned 2017 text. On 1 February 2018 a Kindle in Motion edition, featuring these illustrations with movement, was released for compatible devices.Gopala Dasa
Gopala Dasa (1721–1769) was a prominent 18th-century Kannada language poet and saint belonging to the Haridasa tradition. With other contemporary Haridasas such as Vijaya Dasa and Jagannatha Dasa, Gopala Dasa propagated the Dvaita philosophy of Madhvacharya in South India through Kirtans ("Songs of God") known as Dasara Padagalu with the pen-name (ankita nama or mudra) "Gopala Vittala".
Gopala Dasa was named "Bhaganna" at birth. He was born in Mosarakallu a village in Raichur district of Karnataka state, India. After his initiation into the Madhwa order, he became a disciple of Vijaya Dasa and is credited to being a prolific composer. He is known to have been an astrologer as well. Later Gopala Dasa inspired the well known woman saint Helavanakatte Giriyamma to compose melodious songs in praise of the Hindu god Vishnu.Legend has it that once Vijaya Dasa, a leading Haridasa of the 18th century, invited Jagannatha Dasa to attend a religious ceremony and dine with his devotees. Jagannatha Dasa, who was known for his scholarship in Sanskrit, thought it unnecessary to mingle with the Kannada Haridasas and pretended to have severe stomach pain. Another account claims Jagannatha Dasa even excused himself by feigning sickness due to Tuberculosis. Soon Jaganatha Dasa actually began to suffer from acute stomach pain. Unable to find a suitable remedy, he went to Vijaya Dasa who advised him to approach Gopala Dasa. Jagannatha Dasa's problem was solved by Gopala Dasa. Realizing his mistake and wrong attitude toward the Haridasas, Jaganatha Dasa joined the Madhwa order and went on to become one of its foremost proponents.Kitty Empire
Kitty Empire is the pen name of a British writer and music critic, currently writing for The Observer.Kumara Vyasa
Kumara Vyasa (Kannada: ಕುಮಾರವ್ಯಾಸ) is the pen name of Naranappa (Kannada: ನಾರಣಪ್ಪ), an influential and classical, early 15th century poet in the Kannada language. His pen name is a tribute to his magnum opus, a rendering of the Mahabharata in Kannada. Kumara Vyasa literally means "Little Vyasa" or "Son of Vyasa" (author of the Mahabharata). He was the contemporary and archrival of the famous, Veerashaiva, poet laureate Chamarasa who wrote the seminal work Prabhulingaleele covering the lives of Allama Prabhu and other Shiva Sharanas, circa 1435. Both poets worked in the court of Deva Raya II.List of Assamese writers with their pen names
Assamese literature is the entire corpus of poetry, novels, short stories, documents and other writings in the Assamese language. It also includes popular ballads in the older forms of the language during its evolution to the contemporary form. The literary heritage of the Assamese language can be traced back to the c. 9-10th century in the Charyapada, where the earliest elements of the language can be discerned.
Poets are listed in alphabetical order by their pen name, as rendered in Latin script.List of Japanese-language poets
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S
T U V W X Y Z
Poets are listed alphabetically by surname (or by widely known name, such as a pen name, with multiple names for the same poet listed separately if both are notable). Small groups of poets and articles on families of poets are listed separately, below, as are haiku masters (also in the main list). Years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article.List of Marathi-language poets
This is a list of Marathi language poets.Lovejoy
Lovejoy is a British television comedy-drama mystery series, based on the picaresque novels by John Grant, under the pen name Jonathan Gash. The show, which ran to 71 episodes over six series, was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 10 January 1986 and 4 December 1994, although there was a five year gap between the first and second series. It was adapted for television by Ian La Frenais.Masamune Shirow
Shirow Masamune (士郎 正宗, Shirō Masamune, born November 23, 1961) is the fixed pen name of Japanese manga artist Masanori Ota. The pen name is derived from the legendary sword-smith Masamune. Shirow is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, which has since been turned into two theatrical anime movies, two anime television series, an anime television movie, an anime OVA series, a theatrical live action movie, and several video games. Shirow is also known for creating erotic art.Pseudonym
A pseudonym () or alias () is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which can differ from their first or true name (orthonym).Pseudonyms include stage names and user names, ring names, pen names, nicknames, aliases, superhero or villain identities and code names, gamer identifications, and regnal names of emperors, popes, and other monarchs. Historically, they have often taken the form of anagrams, Graecisms, and Latinisations, although there are many other methods of choosing a pseudonym.Pseudonyms should not be confused with new names that replace old ones and become the individual's full-time name. Pseudonyms are "part-time" names, used only in certain contexts – to provide a more clear-cut separation between one's private and professional lives, to showcase or enhance a particular persona, or to hide an individual's real identity, as with writers' pen names, graffiti artists' tags, resistance fighters' or terrorists' noms de guerre, and computer hackers' handles. Actors, voice-over artists, musicians, and other performers sometimes use stage names, for example, to better channel a relevant energy, gain a greater sense of security and comfort via privacy, more easily avoid troublesome fans/"stalkers", or to mask their ethnic backgrounds.
In some cases, pseudonyms are adopted because they are part of a cultural or organisational tradition: for example devotional names used by members of some religious institutes, and "cadre names" used by Communist party leaders such as Trotsky and Lenin.
A pseudonym may also be used for personal reasons: for example, an individual may prefer to be called or known by a name that differs from their given or legal name, but is not ready to take the numerous steps to get their name legally changed; or an individual may simply feel that the context and content of an exchange offer no reason, legal or otherwise, to provide their given or legal name.
A collective name or collective pseudonym is one shared by two or more persons, for example the co-authors of a work, such as Ellery Queen, Nicolas Bourbaki. or James S. A. Corey.Randor Guy
Madabhushi Rangadorai (born 8 November 1937), better known by his pen name Randor Guy, is an Indian lawyer, columnist and film and legal historian associated with the English language newspaper The Hindu. He is also the official editor of the weekly column "Blast from the Past" that appears in The Hindu.Shebaly
Shebaly is the pen name of a Malayalam writer. He is a priest of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Currently he resides in United States. His real name is Babu Varghese.
Under this pen name Shebaly he had written short stories and poems in mainstream media like Manorama Sunday, Kala Kaumudi, and Katha since 1972. He was the editor of Poomchola—a children's monthly.Stevie White
Stevie White is a British comics artist who works under the pen name Stref. He has worked for The Beano and The Dandy, drawing Winker Watson, Dennis the Menace and The Bash Street Kids, and had a graphic novel for mature readers, Milk, published in 2009. He also draws the strip Raising Amy for PlayStation Comics and the iPhone.
He also drew Chester, the Alien-chaser and Dallas Ditchwater for The Dandy in the 2000s.
In 2015, White created a graphic novel version of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan.Thanh Hải
Phạm Bá Ngoãn, pen name Thanh Hải (1930–1980) was a modern Vietnamese poet. His pen name "Thanh Hải" literally means "Blue Sea" in classical Sino-Vietnamese.