“You’re Good. Laugh at Your Rejections (Happy 5th Birthday Blog)” by Joan Y. Edwards FREE GIVEAWAY Chance. (Details after blog post)
This is the #3 in Series – Famous Writers Recovered from Rejection, So Can You. The series tells you about authors who made it, even though publishers rejected them. You can make it, too.
Gotham Writers Workshop gives you 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 the following writers and works:
Edgar Allen Poe According to One Hundred Rejections.com, Harpers rejected “Folio Club Tales with the following note: “Readers in this country have a decided and strong preference for works (especially fiction) in which a single and connected story occupies the whole volume, or a number of volumes, as the case may be.” Poe kept trying and the next year this same publisher accepted his book for publication.
E. E. Cummings (e.e. cummings, Edward Estlin Cummings) wrote The Enormous Room and was unable to find a publisher. Cummings self-published much of his work and struggled financially. In the 1940s and 1950s, his style of writing became popular and he gave live readings before full houses.
Emily Dickinson When she was living, Emily Dickinson had 12 poems published after her publishers changed her wording to match the “accepted rhyming patterns of the day.” All the rest were rejected. Sadly, no one recognized Emily Dickinson’s genius during her lifetime. After her death, her sister found her poems and her first collection was published in 1890.
Emily Giffin wrote bestselling novels Something Borrowed and Something Blue. She had what Emily called a mean agent who just wrote a one-line, they all rejected it. They referred to eight New York city Publishers to whom the agent submitted . Her books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue were made into movies. Interview on Today.com: http://www.today.com/video/today/37130156#37130156
Ernest Hemingway didn’t like his publisher, Boni & Liveright. He purposely wrote a script he knew they would reject called “The Torrents of Spring.” As Heminway planned, Horace Liveright turned him down which broke his contract. Liveright said, “It would be in rotten taste to publish “The Torrents of Spring.” Then, Ernest found Scribner, who published all of his books and every book became a bestseller. Here are three: The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and A Farewell to Arms.
Frank Herbert wrote the Science Fiction book, Dune, after spending time in Florence, Oregon in 1953 to do a magazine article about a United States Department of Agriculture project to stabilize the dunes by planting beach grass. It changed the ecology of the dune areas and was very controversial. This inspired the setting for what Herbert called his “messiah story.”
By 1963, his agent submitted Dune for publication.Two years and 22 rejections later, a publisher accepted it. In the next 21 years, he published six Dune books, over thirty fiction and non-fiction books, and many magazine articles.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. He received one big rejection that stated, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”
Fitzgerald wrote a letter giving advice to a new writer. Every writer can learn from the wisdom of his words.
“You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner.”
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm After four rejections, Orwell’s novel was published in 1945. Five years later, a Russian émigré in West Germany, Vladimir Gorachek, published a small print in Russian to distribute free to readers behind the Iron Curtain. And in 1954, the CIA funded an animated adaptation of Animal Farm by John Halas and Joy Batchelor.
Gertrude Stein wrote poems for 22 years. Stein received a rejection letter from Arthur C.Fifeld, Publisher, London for her manuscript entitled, “Three Works.”
I think that Fifeld got carried away in his long rejection. I shortened it here: “I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one…Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one…returning the M.S. by registered post. Only one M.S. by one post.”
Her poetry was not well-read, but one line from it is well-remembered, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. Loveliness extreme.” Nigel Rees says that the phrase in Stein’s poem Sacred Emily describes the artwork of the artist, Sir Francis Cyril Rose. She thought he made nature come alive. Here’s a picture painted by Sir Francis Cyril Rose.
Stein’s only bestseller was the story of her life told through the character named Toklas in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and it won the Pulitzer Prize. She never got her other novels published.
Thank you for reading my blog. Today, October 9, 2014 is the fifth birthday of my blog. Thank you to one of my readers, Widdershins, who coined the phrase “Blogaversary.” So you could call say, “Happy 5th Blogaversary.”
There are other sites that list authors with rejections who never gave up. There are biography sites that you can research your favorite authors to find out how they overcame rejection. This is the last blog post in this series. I hope that reading about famous authors who were rejected and never gave up, inspires you to keep on going towards success in the publication of all your manuscripts.
Thank you for reading my blog and making it grow. I appreciate all of you. It is wonderful that you share my posts with your friends in your online communities: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and emails, etc. Thank you.
Totals in Five Years – October 9, 2009 – October 9, 2014
Blog Posts 453
Highest Reads in One Day 980
Lowest Reads in One Day 1
Subscribers to blog 232
Subscribers to comments 99
Total Comments 4,467
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FREE GIVEAWAY to celebrate 5 wonderful years with you:
I am offering a free critique of the first 2000 words of a manuscript as a gift for responding with a comment on this blog post between now and midnight Friday, October 17, 2014. Random.org will choose the winner. I will announce the winner in a new post on Saturday, October 18, 2014.
Believe in you and your writing.
Celebrate all that you’ve accomplished: both the big steps and the little ones.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
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