I was told that because I have a good eye for detail, I could do reasonably well as a grantwriter for several nonprofit organisations.

I have previously applied for personal grants by writing about myself in the first person because I was clearly able to communicate a passionate goal in a clear and concise manner. In 95 percent of cases, I was approved for those grant.

But I'm wondering if my chances of credibility would improve if I wrote about myself in the third person, using a pseudonym as the person who is writing about me.

  • 1
    Do I come across as credible if I write a letter about myself and ask for money, and pretend as if someone else - a fictional person - is the actual writer? Is that your question? Aug 29, 2020 at 8:56
  • Yes, that is my question. I would just like to know if the third person tone would sound more serious... more professional, not to say that you can't do either in the first person. Aug 29, 2020 at 16:06
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    When I receive a letter or e-mail, I expect the sender to be a real person. If the person whose name is at the bottom of the page does not exist, that's a red flag. Aug 29, 2020 at 16:14
  • Pretending to be someone else to write about how wonderful you are doesn't sound remotely more professional to me. (That's a separate issue from writing about yourself in the third person: "The applicant will..." when it's clear you're the one writing it, which is probably standard in some fields). Apr 23, 2021 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


That is fine. Writing yourself in the third person is like writing another character that is like you. There might be protesting against this but it fine for you to do that.
Pen names are used for your own purposes. There's no limit to the things that you feel you should do. Treat it like a biography of yourself. Ignore others who disapprove of your idea because it your book, not theirs.

Hope this would benefit your motivation to keep writing!

  • The question isn't about a book, it's about applying for a grant. Pretending to be someone else to do so feels somewhere between highly unprofessional and downright fraudulent. Apr 23, 2021 at 6:57
  • Oh? But isn't the author's choice of providing the characters and settings? HeavenlyHarmony's choice in writing is a rare one that could be a first. I think he/she should go along with it to see if it works. Plus the fact that many authors use their own characteristic in their writing should be proof that writing about themselves with different names is fine. Apr 23, 2021 at 13:59
  • Do you understand what a grant application is? There are no characters or settings. It's a non-fictional document written to apply for money from somebody. What you're saying doesn't make any sense. Apr 23, 2021 at 16:13

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