Rejection always hurts, but this publisher seems particularly hard to please! This vintage rejection slip is from the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907-1925), who is famous for their production of Charlie Chaplin movies (Photo originally posted on NPR). I’m not sure if my writing, or much modern writing at all for that matter, would pass muster! Which reason for rejection do you find most surprising, amusing, appalling? One of my favorites…see #6 for a good laugh.
But to keep you from getting too discouraged, here are a few excerpts from rejection letters of now beloved and classic works, from publishers who probably still have their foot stuck in their mouths…
Lord of the Flies by William Golding…“an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”
The Deer Park by Norman Mailer…“This will set publishing back 25 years.”
The Diary of Anne Frank…“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”
On Writings by Anais Nin…“There is no commercial advantage in acquiring her, and, in my opinion, no artistic.”
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame…“an irresponsible holiday story.”
Stephanie S. Smith graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Communications and Women’s Ministry, which she now puts to work freelancing as a book publicist and writer through her business, (In)dialogue Communications, at www.stephaniessmith.com. After living in Chicago for four years, traveling to Amsterdam for a spell, and then moving back home to Baltimore to plan a wedding, she now lives with her husband in Upstate New York where they make novice attempts at home renovation in their 1930s bungalow. She writes for www.startmarriageright.com and manages Moody Publishers’ blog, www.insidepages.net.