By: Helen Sedwick
Pen names, also known as pseudonyms and noms de plume, are more popular than ever. Like brand names, they are designed to be catchy, memorable and suited to the genre. Writers switch genders and nationalities. Plain-Janes leap into exotic personas. X-gens with hyphenated surnames opt for something short.
I am often asked if using a pen name is legal. Will a writer be accused of identity theft and fraud? Will he be sued if he uses the name of a real person?
Using a pen name is completely legal. In fact, it is often a wise business choice. But writers should take a few common-sense steps to avoid confusion and protect their rights.
Why Use a Pen Name?
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