To make you all feel a bit better about your most recent rejection letters, to keep you amused while you wait for some more rejection letters, and to encourage you to ignore those rejection letters and keep submitting your short stories and manuscripts anyway, I thought I’d provide a link to this rather hilarious article about Famous Author Rejection Letters. My favorite is about how Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time got 26 rejections before it was accepted…and went on to become a Newberry Award winner.
Many new or mid-level writers have received nasty or rude rejection letters. But when famous author rejection letters come to light, people laugh and say “What were those editors (or literary agents) thinking?” Many big names faced the same kind of adversity (and even hostility) in rejection letters that you may be facing now. Famous author rejection letters teach us a lot!
When you get a harsh rejection letter, keep these famous author rejections in mind…
Check out these excerpts from REAL famous author rejections:
- Sylvia Plath: There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.
- Rudyard Kipling: I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.
- J. G. Ballard: The author of this book is beyond psychiatric help.
- Emily Dickinson: [Your poems] are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities.
- Ernest Hemingway (regarding The Torrents of Spring): It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it.