Feeling "Rejected" as a Writer?

Rejections are a part of writing. Every would-be author who is serious about getting published has received more than one rejection. Some of the best writers of a our time have received not one, but hundreds of rejections.

  • 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 or writing.
  • Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was rejected by 25 publishers.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times.
  • Johnathan 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 1n 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.”

Writing is painful and thankless – but seeing your name in print makes it all worth it.

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4 Responses to “Feeling "Rejected" as a Writer?”

  1. Of course we should take strength and positive hope from such stories of determination. Should we for a moment peek into the other side, the shadowy side then note there are hundreds of thousands who never made it at all. Just think that surely in all those rejected manuscripts cast into furnace city there may well have been some potential classics but for the mood and temperament of the would be publisher.It happens in all the arts. Great paintings rejected and painted over. Nobody believing the Beatles music will sell wellDuring the continual trial to gain recognition we come across that defeatist line of “What makes you think you know better than those judging you and sending you the reject mail.You have to believe and your friends support your belief. Keep going forward even with both legs cut off!Looking between the lines then shall we be looking forwards to a book published soon under your name of have you taken to using a pseudonym? Some people who in achieving fame in one arena can easily have a book published because the interest is already there and the publisher sees his future profits. Everyone else is a gamble and the house has to predict if this could sell!I have a couple of those letters too!Now the comfort line:If things in life were easy would they be worth doing?I see your name published on your blog Ron and oh look, mine too as a comment writer.Ha ha

  2. You are an expert at reading between the lines, Jazz! I am currently peddling some short stories through the market and I am working on a longer novel, but I have to ETA on that yet.Still, you remember Teri Santitoro from iSciFiStory.com? That story her and I worked on together, “The Saint and the Demon,” she got it published!http://www.samsdotpublishing.com/purchasecenter/novels.htmTake a look at the second book in the list. 🙂

  3. This would be an excellent post if the information in it wasn’t plagiarized from another writer’s site.

  4. I’ve seen this list in a few formats across the web over the past couple of years. But yes, my anonymous friend, I did copy it and did not credit the source – thanks for pointing it out.I think I found it here:http://www.kporterfield.com/writes/Creative_Writes_16.html

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