Thanks for the replies!

I think I'm going to at least wait until I've already been accepted to grad school before I start publishing my stories. Because if I didn't get into a certain school, I would always wonder "was it POSSIBLY because of...?" Even though I know it's extremely unlikely.

As for the word getting out because of me telling someone, I'm honestly not worried about that. I'm an expert secret-keeper, and I don't feel the need to tell anyone about this side gig.