JK Rowling Shares Harsh Rejection Letter ... a Recent One

An editor told her to attend a writer's course
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2016 11:01 AM CDT
JK Rowling Shares Harsh Rejection Letter ... a Recent One
JK Rowling in New York in 2015.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Every good writer gets rejected, and JK Rowling may know that better than most. Despite selling 400 million copies of her Harry Potter books, she still had trouble getting her 2013 novel The Cuckoo's Calling published under pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In fact, she got some pretty "cringe-worthy" rejection letters, and posted two to Twitter on Friday to inspire other writers, per the Telegraph. In one, Constable & Robinson notes it "could not publish [the crime novel] with commercial success." An editor advised Galbraith to read the Writer's Handbook, learn how to write an "alluring" blurb, and noted "a writer's group/writing course may help," report the BBC and the Guardian.

Creme de la Crime sent Rowling a more general rejection stating that it was "unable to accept new submissions at the moment." Rowling notes a third unnamed publishing house that turned down Harry Potter also turned down The Cuckoo's Calling in what was Galbraith's "rudest rejection (by email)!" Still, "I wasn't going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen," she says, adding, "I had nothing to lose and sometimes that makes you brave enough to try." Joanne Harris commiserated with her fellow author on Twitter, writing she "made a sculpture" out of all the rejection letters she received for her 1999 novel Chocolat, later turned into a film starring Johnny Depp. (Rowling recently got in hot water with Native American fans.)

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