Saturday, March 27, 2010
My friend Reiko, knowing that I had lately received what can only be described as the rudest rejection letter ever (a rejection apparently based not on my work but on this editor's estimation of my career), sent along a link entitled "30 famous authors whose works were rejected (repeatedly, and sometimes rudely) by publishers."
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not famous (which was this recent editor's accusation against me). But I do take solace (and shouldn't we all?) from reviewing again (for we've reviewed them in the past) these bits and pieces from the annals of whoops.
"We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."
— from one of many publishers rejecting Stephen King's Carrie
"It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA."
—from the editor dismissing George Orwell's Animal Farm
"There certainly isn't enough genuine talent for us to take notice."
— a publisher assessing the poetry of Sylvia Plath
And my personal favorite:
"I'm sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language."
— a San Francisco Examiner editor rejecting a Kipling short story
Everyone, of course, has his or her right to his or her opinion, and editors can only buy those books with which they are in love. I'm simply not altogether convinced that cruelty need enter the scene.