The Quick 10: How 10 Famous People Were Rejected

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As a writer, I have definitely gotten my share of rejection letters. It's a bit disheartening, to be sure. But I guess I can take some comfort in the fact that even people who were later at the top of their fields were dissed at one point. I'll share this list of 10 with you"¦ if Jason doesn't reject my post.

hendrix1. Jimi Hendrix and his band opened for the Monkees once and got booed off of stage. They were consequently dropped from the tour. Can you imagine?
2. Jack Kerouac tried to find a publisher for On the Road for six years.
3. Elvis was kicked out of the Grand Ole Opry in 1954 - they told him to stick to his day job driving trucks.
4. Emily Dickinson gave her poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson to review, and while he was impressed, he advised against publishing them because they were too peculiar. She was totally enamored of him anyway and replied to his criticisms by saying that she had "few pleasures so deep as your opinion, and if I tried to thank you, my tears would block my tongue."

5. Winston Churchill failed the Royal Military entrance exams twice.
6. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind was rejected by 38 publishers before it finally got green-lighted.
7. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was writing for nine years before he hit it big "“ and reportedly only made $20 from his writing for those first nine years.
8. Lucille Ball got sent home from acting school in New York because the teachers thought she was too shy and would never make it as an actress.
9. Monopoly was almost never made "“ Parker Brothers rejected Charles Darrow's idea in 1931 (too complex), but recanted a few years later and started making the game, which is now the best-selling board game ever.
10. James Joyce's Dubliners was rejected 22 times. Even after it got published it didn't do too well: only 379 copies sold the first year it was available, and Joyce bought 120 of those himself.

February 5, 2009 - 11:10am
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