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Writers Republic

Famous Writers Who Overcame Rejection and Achieved Incredible Success


While it is easy to dream of fame and fortune as a writer, very few people actually know how difficult it is. Remember that actually achieving success as a writer takes a lot of work and time. Your work may get rejected, and it will not be a pleasant experience. There will be times where you feel like you can’t go on anymore, and you are just tempted to quit.

However, you should know that achieving fame as a writer is not an impossible endeavor, it is just a hard one. You should take a look at some great writers who were able to achieve success despite getting rejected multiple times. Here’s a list of famous writers who overcame rejection and achieved success.

· J.K. Rowling

When it comes to famous authors, J.K Rowling is the quintessential author. She is the creator of the beloved Harry Potter series, and has gained widespread acclaim. Despite her incredible rise to fame, she has not had it easy. She was a single mother and a struggling writer. While she was talented, and motivated to succeed, she still had a difficult time getting a publishing deal.

The idea for Harry Potter first came to her as she was riding a train. She was able to write a manuscript, and sent it to multiple publishers. However, they were not interested, and all 12 publishers that she sent her manuscript to returned her work. This would have been a crushing experience for any writer, but she still persevered.

A Bloomsbury editor soon picked up her work, and gave her an advance payment of £1,500. While she did get the publishing deal, the editor still told her to get a teaching job, because it was unlikely that she will make a living as an author. The editor could not have been more wrong, and Rowling went on to write an entire book series that sold 450 million copies, and earn a $1 billion fortune.

· Stephen King

The author Stephen King is considered as the king of the horror genre, and for good reason. For more than four decades, he has written horror novels that have been adapted into movies, and he is one of the highest earning authors in literary history. The name Stephen King is synonymous with horror. However, there was a time where he struggled to get his works published, and almost gave up on his dreams. He was a struggling writer, and often suffered from doubts on his skills as a writer.

In fact he threw away the first draft breakthrough novel Carrie because he deemed it was not good enough. Luckily his wife was able to pick it out of the trash and urge him to finish it and send manuscripts out to publishers. He sent the manuscript out to over 30 publishers, until it was finally picked up by Doubleday publishing house. The novel skyrocketed him to success, and he sold millions of copies. He has since written over 54 novels, 200 short stories and earned multiple awards for his works.

· Dr. Seuss

The children’s book author has written multiple books that has cemented him as a legend in the children’s book genre. As beloved as he is now, the revered author still had a difficult time getting his first manuscripts published. Before he gained mainstream success, his works were ignored by multiple publishing houses. While going home in a dejected state because his manuscript was rejected, he was approached by an old school acquaintance. When asked what he was carrying, he replied, “A book no one will publish, I am lugging it home to burn”. The school acquaintance insisted to see the book. Little did Dr. Seuss know that this will be the beginning of his writing success. The book went on to be published to great reviews. He would go on to publish over 60 children’s books, and sell a multitude of copies. His books have even been adapted to animated movies, and live action films.

· Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is known as one of the top mystery writers in the world, and her works have sold millions of copies over the years. You may think that she has had a charmed journey throughout her writing career, however, she has had her fair share of challenges. She submitted her first manuscript at 22, and her works were rejected by her chosen publishing houses.

Looking for a change of strategy, she approached a family friend, writer Eden Philpots who introduced her to his own literary agent. While the manuscript was rejected, the agent suggested that Agatha write another book. After finishing the manuscript, it was rejected again, but was finally published after Agatha changed the ending. Agatha soon gained fame for her works, and wrote over 72 novels, and 15 short stories.

· Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is a legendary author who wrote the classic novel Little Women, and she has gained incredible acclaim. Yet her journey to getting her manuscripts published was a long and arduous one. When she sent out her first manuscript, she was told “Stick to your teaching Ms. Alcott, you can’t write. Not one to be deterred, she had her book published, and it gained incredible acclaim. Her novel Little Women, is considered one of the greatest books in literary history.


If you are thinking of becoming a writer to gain fame and fortune, you should remember that it will be an uphill battle. There will be times where you will be faced with incredible odds, and rejection. However, you should not let this overcome you. With this list of famous writers who overcame rejection, you’ll be inspired to overcome these challenges without fear.

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