Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Perseverance Part 1, Famous Writers' Rejections, Calls for Submissions

Perseverance is that catch-all word that means commitment, hard work, patience, and endurance. These qualities improve the job performance of many workers, and writers are no exception. For most writers no shortcuts exist in the publishing business. A writer has to hone writing skills. The best way to learn to write is to do just that, write. And read other authors’ works. Writing and reading take time, perseverance. Also, a writer needs to learn the market in order to submit the manuscripts. What types of manuscripts do particular publishers want? Spend time figuring out which publishers develop books similar to the manuscript you’ve written. After you ship out one story, begin another. If you keep at this, your writing will improve, you’ll have a good grasp of what books are already in the marketplace, and you’ll learn the editorial needs of various publishers.

Above all, understand that your work will get rejected. Most writers get manuscripts rejected, even those with years of experience and a shelf full of books with their names on the covers. Rejection is part of the growth of a writer.

It’s easy to become discouraged when every story shipped out is shipped back. The following list of books and the number of times they were rejected add perspective to the importance of perseverance.

And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss, 27 rejections.
Carrie by Stephen King; 30+ rejections.
Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, 140 rejections. [See what perseverance can do?]
A Time to Kill by John Grisham, 45 rejections.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 38 rejections.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, 18 rejections.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, 26 rejections.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 20 rejections.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 12 rejections.

David Baldacci received rejections for 15 years.

The reason these famous writers are published is because they persevered.

Check out next week’s blog for part II of this article.

Calls for Submissions

Nashville Review publishes the best in literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and comics. Both distinguished and emerging writers are encouraged to submit.
Fiction Guidelines: We welcome flash fiction, short stories, and novel excerpts of up to 8,000 words. No genre or children’s fiction.
Poetry Guidelines:Up to five poems may be submitted at a time.
Nonfiction Guidelines:Creative nonfiction only, please.
Details at

“The Last 72″ Writing Contest

What would you do if you were told you had only 72 hours to live?
Share your real stories and be a part of a life-changing social experiment!
Everest Productions together with The Fountain: Magazine of Scientific and Spiritual Thought, are searching for 13 winners who will get to appear in a brand-new TV series, receive up to $5,000 in cash prizes and more.
Live life like it really matters.
Participants in the writing contest and The Last 72 TV show must be 18 or older.
Your entries must be 1,000-1,500 words written in English.
Express your own experiences and intentions and not the idea from another work of fiction. Move readers with its originality and your unique personality. Describe actions that you could realistically achieve in 3 days.
Send your 1,000-1,500 words entries to
Deadline: JULY 30, 2010.



  2. Hi,
    I heard that the deadline is extended till Oct.31, 2010.