September Writer Spotlight: Katelyn Macdonald – Behind the Pen Name

Wander through your favorite bookstore, and you’re likely to find quite a few titles published under pen names. Authors mask their identities with pseudonyms for various reasons. Some may be concealing their gender, such as Mary Ann Evans writing as George Eliot, or wishing for anonymity, like former MI6 agent David Cornwell writing as John le Carré. Some authors create personas (Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket) and others choose a name they feel is easier to pronounce than their own (Chloe Wofford, writing as Toni Morrison).

There are also pseudonyms galore here at Crowd Content. Most writers and editors here know each other only by a profile photo and screen name. Our mission at Writer Spotlight is to get warm and fuzzy, and learn more about the people behind the noms de plume.

This edition of Writer Spotlight zooms in on Katelyn Macdonald, better known to her family and friends as Lauren. Lauren has good-naturedly agreed to chat with us about her writing career and life outside of Crowd Content.

Wait, what? You mean y’all do something besides write for us?

Our story begins in Indiana, also known as home to James Dean, David Letterman, Janet Jackson, and Kurt Vonnegut. What you may not know about this midwestern state is that it has a small town called Santa Claus, laws prohibiting you from catching fish with a crossbow, and enough corn crops to produce one-fifth of the country’s popcorn supply. I know it’s true, because the internet told me.

Lauren grew up in the northern part of Indiana and now lives in a small suburb outside of Indianapolis. Her professional background is in retail and childcare, and eight years ago, she began writing professionally. A simple Google search brought her to our platform, and we love that she’s still here. Her knack for pulling together smooth, crisp copy has made her one of our most dependable and highly regarded freelancers.

“I’d tried a few other platforms when I first started writing, but once I found Crowd Content, that’s been the only platform I’ve used,” Lauren explains. “The pay rate is much better than any other writing platform I’ve seen, and I love the support structure and the sense of community.” Aww, thanks, Lauren. We do our best to keep our writers happy.

There’s always room for growth, though, which is why we keep our suggestion box open. We ask Lauren what she’d change about Crowd Content if she could be boss for a day. As one of our more prolific writers, her answer isn’t surprising.

“I’d love to see higher claim limits!” she says. She’s referring to her zeal for picking up work from the platform, which is always welcomed by content managers striving to meet deadlines. “I tend to fill up my queue until I’m overwhelmed with work though, so maybe the current limit isn’t a bad thing,” she adds with a laugh.

When it’s time to get those orders completed, Lauren rolls up her sleeves and sets up shop at her dining room table. She gets the most satisfaction when she can immerse herself in the assortment of subjects in our queues. “I love projects that allow me to do a lot of research about a topic that I’m not super familiar with,” she notes.

In her spare time, Lauren focuses on quality time with her husband and children. You can find the family tackling local hiking trails or hopping on their bikes and cycling. She also enjoys escaping into fiction, putting a couple of fantasy novels at the top of her list. “My favorite book is a toss-up between The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab,” she says.

V.E. Schwab, incidentally, is the name the author uses when she writes for an adult audience. When she publishes for young adults, she’s known as Victoria Schwab. We’re always putting that Google search bar to good use here at Writer Spotlight!

But, before this profile turns into a dissertation on pen names, let’s return to our chat with our featured Crowd Content writer. There’s still plenty of ground to cover, so it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, Lauren.

What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I love Mexican food.”

What’s your favorite TV show or movie? “I’ve watched every episode of Psych probably three times, but my new favorites are Ted Lasso and Mythic Quest.”

What do you find most challenging about writing content? “I tend to write a lot of content for a handful of projects, and coming up with unique phrasing or writing from different perspectives is always a challenge.”

Which project has been your favorite? Why? “I love the projects because I love learning about different cities.”

Do you have any advice for new writers? “Be willing to take on projects you don’t love and look at them as opportunities to establish that you’re reliable and a team player.”

What are the five worst words in the English language? “Squirt, moist, mesh, cabinet (because I spell it wrong every single time) and rural.”

Complete this sentence: When I’m not working… “I love to read!”

Speaking of reading, a big thank you to all of you for perusing this edition of Writer Spotlight. We hope you’re enjoying meeting your fellow freelancers, because it’s certainly a blast for us to learn about the personalities behind the platform’s finely crafted prose.

We have many more writers waiting in the wings. Stay tuned to see who the spotlight shines on next. Maybe it’ll be you!


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Erin is the Community Manager at Crowd Content, and before that was a project manager here for 3 years. She lives in Massachusetts, is a baseball/Red Sox fanatic and loves spending time with her family.

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