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Thread: Pen Name or No?

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  1. #11
    practical experience, FTW Shoeless's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    When I was younger, I seriously contemplated using a pen name for my work, because I'm a visible minority with a very ethnic last name. All the writers I'd grown up loving as a kid were white, so I figured if I was going to be a "real writer" I had to have a real writer name, ie, white name. I had it all set up and perfectly imagined, I was going to call myself "David M. Winter," which was as Anglo as you could possibly get. I also figured at the time that if editors saw an ethnic name, they'd doubt the quality of the English, and look at the work with more skepticism because of that.

    Of course, since then, a lot has changed, and I realize now how important it is minorities--especially if they accomplish something noteworthy--to not try to white wash themselves in an effort to make that accomplishment look more "legit." So when I finally got my first short story published, I used my real name, and ever since then, any article, script or other piece of writing I've put out there has always had my real name. But yeah, at first, I do have to admit, to me a pen name, a white name, meant you had the name of a "real writer," and it took me a while to get over that.
    Last edited by Shoeless; 07-18-2017 at 02:42 AM.

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