where the writers are
Feeling Rejected As An Author? Join A Famous Club

I will share one of my most memorable rejection letters. Well, "letter" is excessive. It was scrawled on the back of a business card. It was terse. It was exact. Credit where credit is due, it was at least written in hand. It said (in full): Thanks- but no thanks.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and his famous signature


Famous Authors' Harshest Rejection Letters


It's hard to imagine that the definitive icons of literature could have been subject to the same iciness of the high-gated publishing-house "no" machines that we know all too well. Of course, even down-to-earth publishers can miss a great work sitting on their desks; with thousands of titles of varying merit clogging editors' mailboxes, it's impossible to skim every page of every slush-pile manuscript, let alone give it its proper consideration. Furthermore, some of our most adored geniuses churned out well-spotted crap before maturing into the artists we remember.

Prescience is no hard science, but hindsight can be a kick in the shins nonetheless, especially for the editors who sent these rejection letters to writers who would later become the bestselling, influential giants of their day—and ours.