20 Brilliant Authors Whose Work Was Initially Rejected

Feeling discouraged? Rejected? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding was rejected 20 times before it was published.

ID: 1666526

2. John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was passed on because le Carré “hasn’t got any future.”

ID: 1666530

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times before it was published.

ID: 1666532

4. Sanctuary by William Faulkner was called “unpublishable.”

ID: 1666534

5. Gertrude Stein submitted poems for 22 years before having one published.

ID: 1666537

6. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl was rejected 15 times before it was published.

ID: 1666538

7. Beatrix Potter had to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself.

ID: 1666539

8. Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times before it was published.

One rejection letter read: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

ID: 1666542

9. Louisa May Alcott was told to stick to teaching.

ID: 1666545

10. Marcel Proust had to pay for his own publication.

ID: 1666546

11. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig was rejected 121 times before it was published.

ID: 1666547

12. E. E. Cummings named the 14 publishers who rejected him in No Thanks.

ID: 1666551

13. Rudyard Kipling was told he didn’t know how to use the English language.

ID: 1666552

14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was rejected 26 times before it was published.

ID: 1666555

15. Animal Farm by George Orwell was rejected because “there is no market for animal stories in the USA.”

ID: 1666556

16. Dune by Frank Herbert was rejected 23 times before it was published.

ID: 1666557

17. Agatha Christie had to wait four years before getting published.

ID: 1666558

18. Dubliners by James Joyce was rejected 22 times before it was published.

Ulysses was also rejected several times on the grounds of “obscenity.”

ID: 1666585

19. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times and J. K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job.”

ID: 1666598

20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is only rumored to have been rejected, but got a scathing review from The New Yorker.

The New Yorker wrote that Catch-22 “doesn’t even seem to be written; instead, it gives the impression of having been shouted onto paper. What remains is a debris of sour jokes.”

ID: 1666635

So always remember:

ID: 1666685

Be proud of your work.

ID: 1666686

Never stop trying.

ID: 1666687

And kick some butt!

ID: 1666694

Eventually, you’ll make it.

ID: 1666740

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

This post was created by a user and has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. It is also not paid advertising. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing