One of the hardest things about being a writer is, of course, dealing with rejection. It can be pretty gut-wrenching when that manuscript you’ve slaved so hard over is returned to you with barely a comment (or, even worse, vanishes into the void without a trace). So central is rejection to the publishing experience that one enterprising blogger turned the whole sorry saga into a support hub for writers, literaryrejections.com. They provide a comprehensive database of literary agencies in 11 countries and interviews with literary agents and publishers, but my favourite part of the site is Best-Sellers Initially Rejected: Some of the Biggest Errors of Judgement in Publishing History. Everyone knows that J.K. Rowling had Harry Potter rejected 12 times before it was picked up by Bloomsbury, but did you know that Dr Seuss (who has now sold over 300 million books) once received a rejection letter with the advice that his manuscript was “too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling”, or that Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows was called “an irresponsible holiday story that will never sell” – until it sold 25 million copies? This website is guaranteed to make any writer who has ever been rejected feel immeasurably better.
Published by lmmerrington
L.M. Merrington is a freelance writer, editor, academic and communications professional. Her journalism and academic writing has appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin, East Asia Forum, Inside Story and South Asia Masala, among others. Her first novel, Greythorne, will be published by Momentum Books, Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital imprint, in 2015. She is currently completing an academic monograph, India and China in the Asia-Pacific, 1890–2030, and working on her next novel. View more posts