I had to make a decision when I started making my writing available on the web, started entering competitions and then most recently receiving payment for my scribblings. What name should I use?
Pen names have been used by authors throughout history to protect their reputation. Eric Arthur Blair is a pretty unique name, so why he decided to write under the much more mundane George Orwell is beyond me.
Looking for other examples I’ve just come across this list .
Before I signed the contract for my short story with manifold press I debated whether I should use a variation on a name for my LGBT+ writing. After all I had written about two young men, and their developing relationship. This story wasn’t about two people who happened to be gay. It was about two young men who over a period of time developed a relationship. How much of ‘me’ would people think was in the story (fact, not much at all, I wrote a lot to my former sixth form friends but I never sent polaroids).
I toyed with names, Drew Hollyhead, Andrew Holly (Andrew is actually a good pseudonym for me, as I am hardly known by that name). But in the end I’ve decided to stick with my ‘real’ name, and as my writing moves forward I will stick with it, for good or bad.
A quick shoutout to Manifold Press, the first people to pay me for my creative writing efforts, the money is still sitting in my bank account for ‘the right time’.
Manifold Press publish – in their words-
We seek fiction in a range of genres grounded in historical realities that finds space for LGBTQ+ and non-traditional protagonists (we will consider historical fantasy set in this world, but we are not at this stage taking fiction set in fantastical worlds).We are actively committed to Diverse Publishing.
I submitted a story for their Valentine’s collection, but was told that the story may be ‘too dark’. Hmmm, but they were interested in publishing the story, not in an anthology but as their ‘short story of the month’ wihtin their newsletter. They also asked for a few ‘notes’ to be taken into consideration, and sent v 2.0 off to them.
It won’t be a surprise that it won’t be a traditional ‘boy meets girl’ story that I wrote. Set in the late 1980s, the time when all my friends were heading off to University, and I was writing very long letters to some of my former sixth form friends. I had decided at the time that instead of studying I would earn some cash, so that I could get out from under my parents feet, and took on a massive mortgage of £12,384 to purchase my first flat.
Anyhow, It was very exciting, receiving my first literary contract, and also my first direct payment for words that had come out of this brain.
If you’re reading this fairly soon after I hit publish, you may yet be able to sign up for the newsletter by clicking on this link, and the first paid-for prose by yours truly could yet land into your inbox.