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Rejected Rockstars: Great Writers Who've Gotten the Boot


"Why you gotta be so rude?"

Just for fun, and because we all need a little pick-me-up every now and then, I've decided to compile a list of amazing authors who've seen more rejection than a lot of us who are just starting out in the querying process. 

In the beginning, each and every rejection (or lack of response) can feel so personally brutal. I find that it helps to defer to the greatness of writers who have already blazed these trails. I find their stories so inspirational because they were able to continue submitting their work time and again, even after people told them that their ideas sucked. 

Doing this research made me more convinced than ever that persistence and self-confidence are probably two of the most important traits that a writer can have. So without further ado, my picks for rejected rockstars:

1. Carrie, by Stephen King - Rejected 30 times.
2. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer - Rejected 14 times. 
3. And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, by Dr. Seuss - Rejected 27 times.
4. Meg Cabot - Rejected so many times she can no longer lift her bag of rejection letters. 
5. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger - Rejected 25 times. 
6. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett - Rejected 60 times. 
7. The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks - Rejected 24 times. 
8. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling - Rejected 12 times. 

Lessons learned: Whether the rejection comes from a literary agent or publisher, it goes to show that people have opinions and tastes that do not necessarily reflect the vast market that is out there waiting to read your book! So keep trying. Believe in yourself and keep count of those rejections! One day you may also be a reject turned rockstar. ;)

Sources: If you'd like to find more rejected rockstars, look at these two awesome sites.
Onehundredrejections.com
LiteraryRejections.com

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