Monday, October 22, 2012

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

What? Rejected? Again?

Buck up!  It's time to wallpaper that bathroom!

For writers, rejections aren't just inevitable – they are a way of life. Every writer gets rejections. EverySingleOne

There are no exceptions. 

Here is a tally that should, if not encourage you, at least bring you back to reality. 

(The reality is this: KEEP WRITING!!)


The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot, was rejected by 17 publishers 

Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 20 times.

Thor Hyerdahl's Kon-Tiki was rejected 20 times

Richard Hooker's novel M*A*S*H was rejected 21 times.

James Joyce's Dubliners was rejected 22 times.

John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was rejected by 25 publishers

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time was turned down 29 times.

Stephen King's Carrie was rejected 30 times.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected 40 times

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times

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

Louis L’Amour was rejected over 200 times before he sold any of his writing. 

And the grand prize goes to:

C.S. Lewiswho received over 800 rejections before he sold a single piece of writing. 

(My personal goal is to beat C.S. Lewis. What's yours?)


  1. My book INFIDELITY was rejected 38 times. Then went on to be nominated for a Pulitzer and made into a Lifetime Movie.

    Write because you love it.

    1. Well put! You have a great story...and a great website!

      (It's here, for those who would like to check it out:)

      You are an inspiration!

    2. Wow! Your story is a real inspiration! Thanks for sharing it.
      I wrote my first book, because I had to. I had no other option but write it.

  2. I framed my first rejection letter and hung it on my wall because I knew I already had done something most people never do - - take a chance. I cited your blog on my FB page

  3. Thanks for reminding me about this, I've been writing on my blogs only and set my fiction work aside for the past few months and when I get a portable hard drive for backing up my fiction and art, I'll starting writing fiction again.

  4. All I can say is Wow - that is truly remarkable!

  5. Good on you. I got rejected once, by the New Yorker (Souts and Murmurs) and was overcome with self doubt. Since then I've only published assigned pieces. There's a novel on my hard disk, hiding for fear of rejection.

  6. 800 TIMES!? Wow. Makes me sound like a complete novice.

    I've had my latest work The Leviathan Chronicle rejected over ten times so far. But I'm not giving up, nor am I limiting myself to one piece of work or one genre or one size of story. I won't be beaten!

  7. Absolutely great piece. Some writers with so much talent in their little finger give up far too soon which is a real shame.

  8. Wow! Some of my favorite authors are on that list. I'm glad they never gave up. Sure makes me wonder about editors and publishers.

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