It’s an interesting question.
Female writers of the past have used male or ambiguous pennames to disguise their gender. Women like Mary Ann Evans, who used the pen name George Elliot and the Brontë Sisters, who wrote as Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell.
These days, women choose gender-neutral pen names in the hopes of increasing book sales and gaining book reviews. Consider these two NYT best sellers:
~ Joanne “Jo” Rowling chose to use J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter series and wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling as Robert Galbraith.
~Nora Roberts, the remarkably prolific author who writes in two genres, selected the gender-neutral pen name J.D. Robb for her mystery novels.
Should women writers bother with pen names? Not according to a recent poll done by Grammarly.
As the infographic below shows 59% of the 3,000 respondents believe women are superior writers.
The poll questions centered on perceived differences in writing technique and quality based on gender. Answers indicate readers believe:
- Male authors “get to the point,” whereas female writers were more likely to focus on “character development.”
- women write about people as opposed to things
- women use long, wordy sentences while men write short, concise sentences
Check out the full infographic below:
I agree with Grammarly’s poll results. Probably because I’m a female author who writes character-driven love stories.
What about you? Do you believe women are better writers than men?