Have a bad case of writer's block? Don't be too hard on yourself — some of the most influential writers in all of history had great trouble getting published at first. Can you believe that publishers initially passed on these masterpieces? These authors are the perfect example of hard work and perseverance paying off!

Anne Frank
Anne Frank
"The Diary of a Young Girl" is one of the most influential books of all time — yet it was still rejected 15 times before it was published.
Stephen King
Stephen King
King's "Carrie" is a classic today, but the Master of Horror was dealt 30 rejection letters before he found a publisher. “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell," said one (ultimately very wrong) rejection letter. 
 Madeleine L’Engle
 Madeleine L’Engle
Who doesn't remember reading "A Wrinkle in Time" as a kid? The children's classic was rejected a whopping 26 times before it was published.
George Orwell
George Orwell
The classic novel "Animal Farm" was rejected by an initial publisher because they felt that "animal stories" didn't have a good market in the United States. Clearly, they missed the point of the book entirely.
J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling
This one is hard to believe. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" was rejected 12 times before it was published. Given the global domination of the series, those 12 publishers probably never sleep at night.
Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell
"Gone with the Wind" was eventually turned into one of the most successful movies in history — yet Mitchell's novel was turned down 38 times before it was published.
William Faulkner
William Faulkner
Faulkner is considered by many to be the greatest American writer ever, with "Sanctuary" being his breakthrough work. It almost didn't happen, though — the first publisher who rejected the title wrote to Faulkner saying, "Good God, I can't publish this. We'd both be in jail." 
Robert M. Pirsig
Robert M. Pirsig
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was rejected an astounding 121 times before it was published.
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut
A young Vonnegut was attempting to break into the literary scene and sent three pieces of writing to "The Atlantic Monthly." All of them were rejected, with the reason being that they weren't "quite compelling" enough.
Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Christie is the reigning queen of the mystery and suspense genre — yet her first work was continually rejected by publishers for around 4 years!
James Joyce
James Joyce
Is Joyce the best writer of all time? Many critics and scholars would say so. "Dubliners," one of his greatest achievements, was still rejected 22 times before publication, though. Was he simply too good for his time?
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott
"Little Women" was rejected repeatedly during Alcott's lifetime — she was even told she should stick to teaching instead of writing novels. The lasting appeal of the 1868 novel has certainly silenced her critics.
Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
Plath was a well-regarded poet when she decided to find a publisher for her only novel, "The Bell Jar," in 1963. She used the pen name Victoria Lucas because her book was so autobiographical and she wanted to keep elements of her identity a secret. Unaware that a popular poet was the person behind the novel, many publishers swiftly rejected the book without a second thought.
Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac
Kerouac wrote "On The Road" in about three weeks, but it took around six years for him to actually find a publisher. It was finally accepted by Viking Press in 1957, but not before other publishing houses predicted that it "would probably have small sales and sardonic indignant reviews from every side." Wrong!
William Golding
William Golding
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is taught in schools all over the world — it was rejected 20 times before it was published!
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
The literary icon submitted poems for an incredible 22 years before she finally got one published!
Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Kipling was told he didn’t understand the English language when he was rejected with "The Jungle Book." The book of short stories has since been praised for the command of the prose and contribution to the short story form. Oh yeah, and the Disney movies don't hurt, either!

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