We all know that quality of writing isn’t the only reason for reaction. Perhaps your book is not a good fit for the publisher, or the agent is looking for something ‘different’ or your work has just been misunderstood. Yet, no matter what the reason those rejection letters still sting!
Here’s eleven famous writers who were rejected and show that writers might just be right after all…
- Madeline L’Engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, was turned down 29 times before she found a publisher.
- C.S. Lewis received over 800 rejections before he sold a single piece of writing.
- Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was rejected by 25 publishers.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times.
- Johathan Livingston Seagull was rejected 40 times.
- Louis L’Amour was rejected over 200 times before he sold any of his writing.
- The San Francisco Examiner turned down Rudyard Kipling’s submission in 1889 with the note, “I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.”
- An editor once told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby Character.”
- The Dr. Seuss book, And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was rejected for being “too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant selling.”
- George Orwell’s Animal Farm was rejected with the comment, “It’s impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”
- The manuscript for The Diary of Anne Frank received the editorial comment, “This girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity level.”
I hope that these famous writers who were rejected will give you a little bit of hope on those dark rejection letter days!