Rejection, Boo Hoo

CARE ABOUT PEOPLE’S APPROVAL, AND YOU WILL BE THEIR PRISONER. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Chin
 

IF YOU WANT YOUR PLAY OUT THERE, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A THICKER SKIN. Emilio Willliams

 

DEFINITIONS BELONG TO THE DEFINERS, NOT THE DEFINED. Toni Morrison

Get Out There & Get Rejected.
200 Times.
Now.

  1. Dr. Seuss: Here you'll find a list of all the books that Dr. Seuss' publisher rejected.
     

  2. William Golding: William Golding's Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 times before becoming published.
     

  3. James Joyce: James Joyce's Ulysses was judged obscene and rejected by several publishers.
     

  4. Isaac Asimov: Several of Asimov's stories were rejected, never sold, or eventually lost.
     

  5. John le Carre: John le Carre's first novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, was passed along because le Carre "hasn't got any future."
     

  6. Jasper Fforde: Jasper Fforde racked up 76 rejections before getting The Eyre Affair published.
     

  7. William Saroyan: William Saroyan received an astonishing 7,000 rejection slips before selling his first short story.
     

  8. Jack Kerouac: Some of Kerouac's work was rejected as pornographic.
     

  9. Joseph Heller: Joseph Heller wrote a story as a teenager that was rejected by the New York Daily News.
     

  10. Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows was not intended to be published, and was rejected in America before appearing in England.
     

  11. James Baldwin: James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room was called "hopelessly bad."
     

  12. Ursula K. Le Guin: An editor told Ursula K. Le Guin that The Left Hand of Darkness was "endlessly complicated."
     

  13. Pearl S. Buck: Pearl Buck's first novel, East Wind: West Wind received rejections from all but one publisher in New York.
     

  14. Louisa May Alcott: Louisa May Alcott was told to stick to teaching.
     

  15. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Before winning the Nobel Prize, Isaac Bashevis Singer was rejected by publishers.
     

  16. Agatha Christie: Agatha Christie had to wait four years for her first book to be published.
     

  17. Tony Hillerman: Tony Hillerman was told to "get rid of the Indian stuff."
     

  18. Zane Grey: Zane Grey self-published his first book after dozens of rejections.
     

  19. Marcel Proust: Marcel Proust was rejected so much he decided to pay for publication himself.
     

  20. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Soul received 134 rejections.
     

  21. William Faulkner: William Faulkner's book, Sanctuary, was called unpublishable.
     

  22. Patrick Dennis: Auntie Mame got 17 rejections.
     

  23. Meg Cabot: The bestselling author of The Princess Diaries keeps a mail bag of rejection letters.
     

  24. Richard Bach: 18 publishers thought a book about a seagull was ridiculous before Jonathan Livingston Seagull was picked up.
     

  25. Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit had to be published by Potter herself.
     

  26. John Grisham: John Grisham's A Time to Kill was rejected by 16 publishers before finding an agent who eventually rejected him as well.
     

  27. Shannon Hale: Shannon Hale was rejected and revised a number of times before Bloomsbury published The Goose Girl.
     

  28. Richard Hooker: The book that inspired the film and TV show M*A*S*H* was denied by 21 publishers.
     

  29. Jorge Luis Borges: It's a good thing not everyone thought Mr. Borges' work was "utterly untranslatable."
     

  30. Thor Heyerdahl: Several publishers thought Kon-Tiki was not interesting enough.
     

  31. Vladmir Nabokov: Lolita was rejected by 5 publishers in fear of prosecution for obscenity before being published in Paris.
     

  32. Laurence Peter: Laurence Peter had 22 rejections before finding success with The Peter Principles.
     

  33. D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers faced rejection, and D.H. Lawrence didn't take it easily.
     

  34. Richard Doddridge Blackmore: This much-repeated story was turned down 18 times before getting published.
     

  35. Sylvia Plath: Sylvia Plath had several rejected poem titles.
     

  36. Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance faced an amazing 121 rejections before becoming beloved by millions of readers.
     

  37. James Patterson: Patterson was rejected by more than a dozen publishers before an agent he found in a newspaper article sold it.
     

  38. Gertrude Stein: Gertrude Stein submitted poems for 22 years before having one accepted.
     

  39. E.E. Cummings: E.E. Cummings named the 14 publishers who rejected No Thanks in the book itself.
     

  40. Judy Blume: Judy Blum received nothing but rejections for two years and can't look at Highlights without wincing.
     

  41. Irving Stone: Irving Stone's Lust for Life was rejected by 16 different editors.
     

  42. Madeline L'Engle: Madeline L'Engle's masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time faced rejection 26 times before willing the Newberry Medal.
     

  43. Rudyard Kipling: In one rejection letter, Mr. Kipling was told he doesn't know how to use the English language.
     

  44. J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses, all of which rejected it.
     

  45. Frank Herbert: Before reaching print, Frank Herbert's Dune was rejected 20 times.
     

  46. Stephen King: Stephen King filed away his first full length novel The Long Walk after it was rejected.
     

  47. Richard Adams: Richard Adams's two daughters encouraged him to publish Watership Down as a book, but 13 publishers didn't agree.
     

  48. Anne Frank: One of the most famous people to live in an attic, Anne Frank's diary had 15 rejections.
     

  49. Margaret Mitchell: Gone With the Wind was faced rejection 38 times.
     

  50. Alex Haley: The Roots author wrote every day for 8 years before finding success.