There was recently an article coming from The Evening Standard that highlights female authors throughout history having to or choosing to use male pseudonyms, or pen names, in order to have greater success as authors.
Throughout history, male authors have gained more traction, even when writing women’s fiction, because of the limited rights or the null rights of women altogether.
Author Kate Mosse and founder of Reclaim Her Name: Women’s Prize for Fiction has decided to challenge this unfortunate legacy in literature. She has launched a movement at Bailey’s to reclaim the names of female authors who wrote under a male name in the past so they can be recognized.
The collection of books can be downloaded free at Bailey’s.
Kate Mosse is the author of multiple books, some of which are listed below:
So now the question moves to the present time. How many female authors do you know who elect to use male pseudonyms?
One rather famous woman who was asked to use a male pen name in order to make sales is J.K. Rowling. She writes under the name of Robert Galbraith for a totally different genre than the Harry Potter series, but some may not know that with the first book of her Harry Potter series, the publisher thought that if the public knew a female was behind the series, it wouldn’t appeal to boys, thus she added the K.
No, J.K. Rowling isn’t her name. It’s actually J Rowling, but the K must have given it a masculine kick even though it is the initial of a female family member? Either way it goes, once the word was out that J.K. Rowling is a female, the sales didn’t suffer at all.
This goes to show that even publishers of today have a large lean toward certain books being written by male writers based off of the fear that it will have less success.