Saturday, June 30, 2007

Persist

An old but still interesting post on writers who overcame rejection...and some news on an odd new paper product. An excerpt:

Meanwhile, Hindes has made his own small piece of literary history by becoming the first author to publish his rejection letters on toilet paper (which, connoisseurs might care to know, is facial-quality but not two-ply).

"George Orwell, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and almost any writer you could name received rejection letters," points out Lulu's Bob Young. "Margaret Mitchell got rejection letters from 38 different publishers before anyone finally deigned to publish her novel, Gone With The Wind. How many talented writers are there who gave up without ever making it into print because of misguided rejection?"

William Saroyan may now be rated an American literary great but he amassed a stack of rejection slips 30 inches high — some 7,000 — before he sold his first story.
Rudyard Kipling managed to sell one article to The San Francisco Examiner in 1889, but the paper then rejected any future submissions, saying, "You just don't know how to use the English language."


John Kennedy Toole, meanwhile, received so many rejection letters for his novel, A Confederacy Of Dunces, that he finally killed himself. Only the persistence of his bereaved mother led to the eventual publication of his novel and its receipt of the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.

[HT: Stumbling and Mumbling ]

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