There is a lot of rejection in a writer’s life. It’s easy for rejections and form letters to discourage you to the point of giving up. Here are some of the most iconic writers who were rejected repeatedly—but kept writing and became best-selling authors.
J.K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter to more than ten publishing houses who all said no. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, accepted it after the CEO’s eight-year-old daughter begged her father to print the book.
Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, received more than a dozen of rejections. Once published, it was this very novel that enabled him to quit his day job and write full-time.
Louisa May Alcott was told by editors to stick to teaching.
Meg Cabot, best-selling author of The Princess Diaries, keeps a bag of rejection letters.
Beatrix Potter had to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself.
John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and several agents before Wynwood Press finally published it. After The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and The Client became bestsellers, A Time to Kill was republished by Doubleday in hardcover and then by Dell Publishing in paperback, making it a bestseller.
Judy Blume received rejections for two years. According to Ms. Blume, she would go to sleep at night feeling that she’d never be published, but she’d wake up in the morning convinced she would be. “Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new,” she said.
And that’s only a tiny few of well-known writers who constantly faced rejection. It’s comforting to know that the road isn’t always smooth…even for the best.