For as long as there have been books, there have been authors who write under pen names. For some it was a way to stay out of trouble. For others, it was a way to stir some up!
Robinson Crusoe was just one of the many pen names of Daniel Foe. In total, it is estimated he used 198 different names in his writings.
The author of Candide, Voltaire is a name we all know. In his day the French Enlightenment writer was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and published under his works under 178 pen names.
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. He chose to publish under a pen name to avoid embarrassment to his family from his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, about living on the margins in those two cities. He also took the name because it sounded like a “good round” English name.
Alisa Zonov’yevna Rosenbaum wanted to disguise her ethnic origins to be better received by US readers, so she chose the name Ayn Rand.
Banned from contributing to his college humor magazine after being caught drinking by the dean, Theodore Geisel kept up submitting articles under the name Seuss. I think we all know Dr. Seuss.
Stanley Martin Lieber had lofty ambitions and planned to write novels so he used Stan Lee to publish his Spider-Man stories.
Pablo Neruda was the pen name of Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto. Considered among the greatest poets of the 20th century, Neruda took his pen name to avoid his father's disapproval of his poems.
What pen name will you pick?
WriterShelf is a privacy-oriented platform that lets you write using pen names.
Everyone has a story to tell. WriterShelf gives you the freedom to be yourself.