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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


If it's one thing most writers must learn to deal with, it's rejection. Sometimes it comes in the form of no answer. Sometimes it's a form letter that doesn't give you any clue as to why the publishers or agents didn't like it. And sometimes it's a nasty opinion of the book that could have easily led to the author giving up.

Fortunately for us, many now-famous authors hung in there after terrible rejection.

Consider the following:

One publisher said about Animal Farm by George Orwell, "It's impossible to sell animal stories."

One publisher said to Stephen King about Carrie, "We are not interested in science fiction that deal with negative utopias. They don't sell." (He went on to get a $300,000 advance for the paperback edition; millions of copies have sold and a movie was made from the book that also grossed millions.)

One publisher said of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, "I haven't the foggiest idea of what the author is trying to say."

Emily Dickenson was told her poems "are truly devoid of poetic qualities."

Of J.G.Ballard, the author of Crash, it was said, "This author is beyond psychiatric help."

One publisher said of Rudyard Kipling, "You just don't know how to use the English language."

Of The Diary of Anne Frank, it was said, "This girl doesn't have a special perception or feeling that would lift the book above 'curiosity' level."

Lord of the Flies by William Golding was called "an absurd and uninteresting fantasy"

One publisher said of John le Carre after reading The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, "He hasn't got any future."

Have you received any interesting or horrific rejections?