Amusement Rejections

Stephen King's rules

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Rachel Caldecott

Full Member
Nov 13, 2017
Lodeve, France
Compiled by Rachel Caldecott to cheer herself up.

Irish Wine : 162 rejections… Widely praised, spawned two sequels

Chicken Soup for the Soul : 144 rejections… best-seller and multi-armed franchise

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : 121 rejections… sold millions of copies

The Lost Get-Back Boogie : 111 rejections… nominated for the Pulitzer prize

Still Alice: 100 rejections… 40 weeks on New York Times best seller list

A Naked Singularity : 88 rejections… won the PEN/Robert W Bingham prize for debut fiction

The Big Bounce : 84 rejections… made into a movie, twice

Eddie’s Bastard : 79 rejections… international bestseller

The Help : 60 rejections… New York Times bestseller list for over 100 weeks, sold seven million copies, made into a film

Wittgenstein’s Mistress : 54 rejections… classic of experimental and postmodern literature

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky: 48 rejections… winner of the 2008 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially-Engaged Fiction

Spinning Heart : 47 rejections… long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, winner of Guardian‘s first novel award

The Ten Thousand Things : 44 rejections… won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in 2015

The Border of Paradise : 41 rejections… Granta’s list of the best young American novelists

Murphy : 40 rejections… Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969

The Thomas Berryman Number : 31 rejections… Now one of the most successful authors in the world

Carrie : 30 rejections… the biggest literary career of modern times

A Time to Kill : 28 rejections… sold 1.5 million copies,became a movie

A Wrinkle in Time : 26 rejections… Winner of Newbery Medal, the Sequoyah Book Award, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

The Time Traveler’s Wife : 25 rejections… a huge best-seller and a film

Dune : 23 rejections… Winner of Hugo and the Nebula, and the best-selling science fiction novel of all time

Lord of the Flies : 21 rejections… one of the best novels ever written

MASH : 21 rejections… became one of the most popular television shows of all time

Dubliners : 18 rejections… a touchstone of modern literature, taught in every university
Glad to brighten your Sunday! We all need to remember these stats. They'll get us through the dark days. I've attached a design for a t-shirt I was going to make with some of the rejection phrases I've received. When I realised that everyone was getting the same stock phrases I felt less alone and less like a failure.


  • Thank you for considering us.docx
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  • rejection celebration bag.JPG
    rejection celebration bag.JPG
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  • rejection celebration t shirt.JPG
    rejection celebration t shirt.JPG
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Stephen King's rules