Famous Author's Rejected - Pump up and Write Now

Think this happened to only a select few? Guess again. My local SCBWI crit peeps shared these snippets with our group recently. Read rejection excerpts and stories of famous authors below as a reminder that this industry is truly subjective. It's all about finding the right person (agent/editor) at the right time who shares your vision. Read and then go back and dig into that manuscript!!  

1. Stephen King

Mr. King received dozens of rejections for his first novel, Carrie; he kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a timber in his bedroom.

One of the publishers sent Mr. King's rejection with these words:

We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.

2. William Golding

Mr. Golding's Lord of the Flies was rejected by 20 publishers. One denounced the future classic with these words:

an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.

3. Anne Frank

According to one publisher, The Diary of Anne Frank was scarcely worth reading:

The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level.

My all time favorite, of course:

4. J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorceror’s) Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including many biggies. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the book. Thank you!!

Feeling more inspired? Good. Now, go write!!! Happy Monday, everyone.

Want to read more? Come back next Monday. Also, tomorrow I'm pleased to have Brittany Roshelle  stepping into the Writer Spotlight. She'll be sharing her pitch for THE POPULAR GIRLS. Check it out.


  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to tackle that novel polishing I need to get done.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration! It always helps to hear these stories from when the GREATS were just like the rest of us!!!

    ps I laughed at your prom picture. funny!

  3. Thanks for the inspiration. Definitely needed today. Hope we all have stories like those.

  4. Good post. Great reminder and inspiration. I'm always inspired to keep going when I read about how many times other writers were rejected.


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