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a common question that people ask is do you have to file your submitted work under your real name can you use a stage name or a pen name the answer to this is yes just make sure that you check the appropriate box labeled synonymous at space 2 of your registration form also make sure that you have documented evidence to prove that you are in fact the individual that goes with your chosen stage name or pen name otherwise filing under that name would be worthless and stupid
Thanks for your comment Marilee Chenauls, have a nice day.
- Vickey Higginson, Staff Member
hi everyone Alexa done here and today I am talking all about why I chose to use a pen name for my publishing career so that's info point number one Alexa Dunn is a pen name it is not my so-called real name except half of it is so my real first name is Alexa I had the name long before Amazon decided to turn me into a piece of technology and yes it gets real real real weird and real confusing sometimes I have an echo and even when I film these videos I do my intro at the beginning of videos it goes off a lot so if you ever see like a quick cut at the beginning of the video where I say my name it's because my Alexis starts talking to me so Alexa is my real first name but Dunn is not my real last name so I'm going to tell you in this video why I chose to use a pen name it's it's a very personal decision when you do choose to use a pen name I've also got a pros and cons of using a pen name video a ton of you requested that but I wanted to kind of examine the two things separately the you know kind of neutral catch-all pros and cons video and then the personal why I decided to use a pen name video and I will say because it is a very personal choice whether or not you want to use a pen name and decide to use one that there's really no judgment either way and that I have reasons that I wanted to use a pen name that simply aren't going to work for other people or my making that call for myself isn't a judgment call on anyone else for not making the same call for similar reasons and I give that disclaimer because the first one of the first reasons for me so my IRL last name is long Italian and can be difficult to pronounce and spell now I say that with an asterisk because I think my last name is easy to spell easy to pronounce it is it's a pretty straightforward Italian name and if you live in the United States and you grown up around italian-americans as i have not just because I am italian-american um I find it really easy and the rules in Italian are also really easy you essentially pronounce all of the vowels in Italian and there are only a couple of consonant combinations in Italian that are complicated or complex or have weird roles like a sound instead of Asha choo sound with a CH but I don't have one of those names I think my Italian last name is pretty easy to pronounce but some formative experiences that I had particularly in middle school in high school where I lived in Atlanta and people struggled people really struggled let's just say there is a popular pizza brand that is only nominally similar to my last name may I say in my defense and yet I have had so many people call me a pizza including my high school principal over the intercom so just like picture like 15 year old Alexis sitting in class like Alexa Pizza brand please come to the office that everyone laughs now I've got a pretty thick skin I'm not actually embarrassed or upset about my last name I love my last name but this brings me into the rest of my reasons they all kind of dovetail together to equal I think I'm gonna use a pen name so I basically my identity of Alexa real last name I have an identity that has a Google search history I have a history with this name for many years I was pursuing journalism so I have like these neat Google results that go with my IRL name and I kind of like them where they are and at the time that I was deciding to write novels and pursue this career I was still actively trying to pursue a career in journalism now I'm not anymore but I am kind of actively in television marketing so I think of my real name as the brand's name for my professional writing career that is not novels and so in my mind I was like okay I want to have IRL aleksa identity and pen name elects identity and I want them to be separate partly because why a is kind of a whole other genre area from say journalism or nonfiction or marketing and I still have it in the back of my mind I'm gonna use my real name if I write nonfiction at some point or a memoir not that I would ever need to write a memoir or even and that's all genre where my real name would look really jazzy on a cover which brings me to the third reason and this is gonna sound superficial or strange but they will tell you I have shared this reason with multiple people who know my real name and they all agree with me they go oh you make a really good point and that is I just couldn't see my name on away a book I like tried to picture a why a cover like my book in the bookstore and my real name I was like it just doesn't look sound or feel like a ye AR name and so you know it's like okay now I'm gonna circle back to the cultural thing and this is where it really is important to me that I disclaim and this is gonna be in the pros and cons video to that having an unwieldy foreign sounding name that is difficult to spell is not a great reason to change your name it may be a reason that someone like me might elect to do so for a pen name but that is personal and I don't actually advocate that as a reason to use a pen name because you profanity warning succomb [ __ ] them if they can't pronounce your culturally specific last name that is difficult to spell I say Chaitanya bright diamond make them learn to spell and pronounce your name I that didn't matter to me personally because I am not particularly attached to being Italian I am barely Italian to be perfectly frank with you I am one-eighth italian-american I am 7/8 English Irish and Scottish you noticed my pen name is English which I'm gonna come back to in a minute I don't feel much cultural attachment to being italian-american my family is italian-american but it's also mostly Irish because I am second-generation Italian person marrying an Irish person in the US and that caused some family drama back in the day but because no second-generation I'm third because I'm the point is I identify more with being English Irish it's a little bit of Scottish also I found out I'm actually like distantly french-canadian that was interesting but I attached my identity more strongly to essentially being anglo-saxon than I do to being Italian so it just wasn't a hill I was willing to die on with my Italian last name now I will throw this in here for a fair warning if you're watching this if you do choose to change your name and use a pen name you might upset your parents and for all I know my mom might be watching this I love you mom and I'm so sorry I'm so sorry cuz like I know it hurts it's like what do you mean you don't want to use like our name it's it's a personal choice and you might have to do with this the people in your life being like well why wouldn't when you want to use your real name like are you a you know ashamed of being part of this family no one ever said that's me by the way but you know your family might it really is just a personal choice so that is something to consider and again watch the person convey do if you want to hear some more cons to using a pen name but for me those things that I wanted to have like an a why a identity a name that was very why a and feel that would give me a nice clean Google result where I could keep like IRL Alexa and why
Thanks Chiffiv your participation is very much appreciated
- Vickey Higginson
About the author
I've studied astronomy at Lipscomb University in Nashville and I am an expert in political economic anthropology. I usually feel happy. My previous job was pope I held this position for 2 years, I love talking about fitness and marathon running. Huge fan of Kaya Scodelario I practice cheerleading and collect numismatics.
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