Like a world without Dr. Seuss? No literary agent or publisher is perfect, but here’s a list of some of the books only a bonehead would have said no to – and did:
- And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street - It was Dr. Seuss’ first attempt. If he’d let some twenty-seven rejection letters keep him down, we’d have to breakfast on regular old yellow and white eggs and pink ham. Really, would we have them any other way?
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – It took around nine tries for J.K. (Jo) Rowling to find a mortgage broker for Hogwarts. Anyone want to argue that they had a point? Anyone? Bueller?
- A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle reportedly collected twenty-six rejections before Farrar, Straus and Giroux picked up the book that would later earn the 1963 Newberry Award and kick off a three-book series. Most of the objections, the late L’Engle once said were “that it would not be able to find an audience, that it was too difficult for children.”
- The Princess Diaries – Today Meg Cabot has two movies under her belt as well as plenty of adult fiction to her name, but first came her seventeen attempts to find someone who would give her princess prose a place. She says she keeps the bag of rejection letters under her bed; and they’re too hard to lift! “Some of them were really, really mean — unnecessarily. One said “The
Princess Diaries” was just not suitable for children. It’s funny how
they are really nice to me now.”