Peg366's Blog

Rejections. Even the Best Writers Get Them.

Posted on: November 23, 2009

I “borrowed” this from our local SCBWI listserv who  “borrowed” this from another listserv because she thought it was worth repeating! Doesn’t it do your heart good to know that you are in such great company? Keep the faith.

Three tips for coping with rejection:
Laugh at your rejections.
Learn from your rejections.
Always have a new project underway, something that will give you hope no matter how many rejections come your way for the previous project.
You may take some consolation in knowing the rejection history of these writers and works:
Dune by Frank Herbert – 13 rejections
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 14 rejections
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – 17 rejections
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 18 rejections
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – 29 rejections
Carrie by Stephen King – over 30 rejections
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 38 rejections
A Time to Kill by John Grisham – 45 rejections
Louis L’Amour, author of over 100 western novels – over 300 rejections
before publishing his first book
John Creasy, author of 564 mystery novels – 743 rejections before
publishing his first book
Ray Bradbury, author of over 100 science fiction novels and stories –
around 800 rejections before selling his first story
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – rejected so universally the
author decided to self-publish the book
From rejection slip for George Orwell’s Animal Farm:
“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A.”
From rejection slip for Norman MacLean’s A River Runs Through It:
“These stories have trees in them.”
From rejection slip for article sent to the San Francisco Examiner to
Rudyard Kipling:
“I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English
From rejection slip for The Diary of Anne Frank:
“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling
which would lift that book above the curiosity level.”
Rejection slip for Dr. Seuss’s And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry
“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its

Care to add more to the list. Leave the titles and times they have been rejected and I’ll add them to the post.


4 Responses to "Rejections. Even the Best Writers Get Them."

I love this, I think I have to borrow it from you:)
I am going to tuck this away in my journal.


Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving me a comment. I’m glad it helped you feel better. Imagine being in such great company as the writers on this list.

Please come back soon as I am always adding new stuff to the blog.

Peg Finley/peg366

..]one interesting source of tips on this topicis ,,..]

Thanks. I try to keep it interesting.


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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

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