Was feeling rather depressed over a rejection I received today. The editor said my story was a “very moving, very well-written story” but it wasn’t right for their list right now. Darn! I get so sick of pitching to publishers and getting more rejections than acceptances. I was sitting here throwing a pity party for myself and moaning over the fact that I don’t have an agent to do my marketing for me, when I came across some rejections received by famous authors of the past. Now I don’t feel quite so bad…
I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.
–San Francisco Examiner, rejection letter to Kipling (1889)
A gross trifling with every fine word.
–Springfield Republican, review of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
We fancy that any child might be more puzzled than enchanted by this stiff, silly, overwrought story.
–Children’s Books’ review of Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carrol (1865)
Shakespeare’s name, you may depend on it, will go down. He has no invention as to stories, none whatever. –Lord Byron (1814)
A huge dose of hyperbolical slang, maudlin sentimentalism and tragic-comic bubble and squeak.
–William Harrison Ainsworth, New Monthly Magazine, review of Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
Ralph Waldo Emerson is a hoary-headed and toothless baboon.
–Thomas Carlyle, _Collected Works_ (1871)