J.K. Rowling’s Rejection Letters


In the news today, it was reported that J.K. Rowling shared her rejection experiences on twitter. For many writers, rejection is part of the business, much like other creative industries like the performing arts. Harry Potter was famously rejected by 9 publishers and countless agents, but Rowling kept pursuing her dream, despite being flat broke. Simply put, getting noticed as a new author for a publisher to take you on is very hard.

According to The Independent, Bloomsbury was just about the last stop for the submission. The Chairman didn’t even read the sample chapters, but instead gave it to his 8 year old daughter who loved it. He ordered 500 copies to be printed, really thinking nothing of it. The rest is history. J.K. Rowling is now one of the most successful authors in history.

What she shared today makes writers relate to her more. Rejection is a tough thing and for no-name authors, sometimes the degree of rejection ranges from the respectful to the downright arrogant. The first agent aka AGENT-WITH-HAUNTING-COLD-SWEAT-MUGGLE-NIGHTMARES-EVERYTIME-THEY-READ-A-HARRY-POTTER-REFERENCE, couldn’t kindly rejected but had to comment that J.K.Rowling even messed up the folder she sent.

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But this isn’t what made the twitter posts so awesome today. I had heard of the Robert Galbraith pseudonym and recently saw the news of her attending a readers group to praise the author. I find this hilarious on so many levels. I only wish she did it in disguise and asked thought provoking questions on it and debated the readers. Unfortunately, the Orkney Library invited the author, so they were hoping she would attend the event.

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What made her post so awesome today were the two rejection letters she posted. I’ve seen rejection letters, both personally and by other authors. What got my attention was that despite being one of the biggest selling authors of this generation, she queried publishers as Robert Galbraith and got rejected. I know Stephen King published as Richard Bachman, but I wonder if he queried under his pseudonym as well. If so, we all would like to see, if nothing else to relate to the author better.

Just like we do with J.K.Rowling now.


Check out the Guardian for more on her visit to Orkney Library, a place with funny librarians.


Published by mmleonard


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