Writer’s Experiment Proves Male-Written Manuscripts Get More Attention

by Kathryn Hensch

Writer Catherine Nichols had submitted the manuscript of her novel to many publishing agents. Greeted with rejections and little interest in the book she and her friends felt was perhaps her best work, she began to feel like the problem didn’t lie in her writing. Curious to see if it was a case of gender inequality, she created George Leyer.

She sent out 50 queries under her homme de plume, or male name pseudonym. As it turns out, George is “eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book.” Publishers who previously told Catherine that her work had flawed characters were praising her imaginary male self as being a clever writer. Where some didn’t even respond to her queries, even George’s rejections offered helpful constructive criticism and compliments.

Catherine feels there are several variables that influenced the much warmer response that George received. Perhaps her novel was mistaken for women’s fiction when it was read under her real name. Maybe George writing a novel with a female protagonist made him stand out to the agents. These things considered, there’s no denying that a male name equalled more success.

You can read Catherine’s entire story on her experience using a male pseudonym here.

Image via @clnichols6 on Twitter

Read more on BUST.com:

Graphic Novels By Women That You Should Read Now

Carrie Brownstein’s Reading List: How Many Have You Read?

Women Of Letters Celebrates The Lost Art Of Letter Writing


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