Pohl's writing career began in the late 1930s. For the first fifteen years of his writing career, he used pseudonyms: Pohl's first published piece was a poem in the October, 1937 issue of Amazing Stories credited to "Elton Andrews." From 1939 to 1943, Pohl was the editor of two pulp magazines - Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories. Stories by Pohl often appeared in these magazines, but never under his own name. Work written in collaboration with Cyril M. Kornbluth was credited to S.D. Gottesman or Scott Mariner; other collaborative work (with any combination of Kornbluth, Dirk Wylie or Robert A.W. Lownes) was credited to Paul Dennis Lavond. For Pohl's solo work, stories were credited to James MacCreigh (or, for one story only, Warren F. Howard.)
In his autobiography, Pohl says that he stopped editing the two magazines at roughly the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Regardless, works by "Gottesman," "Lavond," and "MacCreigh" continued to appear in various SF pulp magazines throughout the 1940s.