Famous Author Rejections

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every author’s work is rejected. This includes the literary greats. Below is a list of famous authors and how they were rejected before they hit it big. I think these are accurate. They are amusing to say in the least.

Sylvia Plath: There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.
Rudyard Kipling: I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.
Emily Dickinson: [Your poems] are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities.
Ernest Hemingway (on The Torrents of Spring): It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it.
Dr. Seuss: Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.
The Diary of Anne Frank: The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.
Richard Bach (on Jonathan Livingston Seagull): will never make it as a paperback. (Over 7.25 million copies sold)
H.G. Wells (on The War of the Worlds): An endless nightmare. I do not believe it would “take”…I think the verdict would be ‘Oh don’t read that horrid book’. And (on The Time Machine): It is not interesting enough for the general reader and not thorough enough for the scientific reader.
Edgar Allan Poe: Readers in this country have a decided and strong preference for works in which a single and connected story occupies the entire volume.
Herman Melville (on Moby Dick): We regret to say that our united opinion is entirely against the book as we do not think it would be at all suitable for the Juvenile Market in [England]. It is very long, rather old-fashioned…
Jack London: [Your book is] forbidding and depressing.
William Faulkner: If the book had a plot and structure, we might suggest shortening and revisions, but it is so diffuse that I don’t think this would be of any use. My chief objection is that you don’t have any story to tell. And two years later: Good God, I can’t publish this!
Stephen King (on Carrie): We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.
Joseph Heller (on Catch–22): I haven’t really the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say… Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level … From your long publishing experience you will know that it is less disastrous to turn down a work of genius than to turn down talented mediocrities.
George Orwell (on Animal Farm): It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.
Oscar Wilde (on Lady Windermere’s Fan): My dear sir, I have read your manuscript. Oh, my dear sir.
Vladimir Nabokov (on Lolita): … overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian … the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy. It often becomes a wild neurotic daydream … I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was turned down so many times, Beatrix Potter initially self-published it.
Lust for Life by Irving Stone was rejected 16 times, but found a publisher and went on to sell about 25 million copies.
John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) received 134 rejections.
Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) received 121 rejections.
Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting before getting a single poem accepted.
Judy Blume, beloved by children everywhere, received rejections for two straight years.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle received 26 rejections.
Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 20 times.
Carrie by Stephen King received 30 rejections.
The Diary of Anne Frank received 16 rejections.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rolling was rejected 12 times.
Dr. Seuss received 27 rejection letters


The Meaning of Chrismons


Perhaps you attend a church during the Christmas season and have seen or taken part in decorating a tree with certain symbols. A rainbow, a cross, a Star of David, a fish, etc. The first time I did this was in 2005 when I started attending a new church and I had no clue what it truly meant. Each symbol/ornament has represents something and it shares the Gospel. Below are a list of the symbols, the Chrismons (Christ Monograms):

The Alpha and Omega are Greek letters for Beginning and the End.

The Rainbow is God’s covenant with man.

The Lyre symbolizes praise in music.

The Scales signify judgment.

The Empty Cross is the symbol of death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Fish is the sign used by the early Christians to identify themselves.

The Eye represents the all seeing Eye of God.

The Star of David represents the lineage of Jesus.

The Dove represents the Holy Spirit.

The Candle symbolizes that Jesus is Light of the World.

The Three Circles is the sign of the Trinity – linked to signify One God.


Merry Christmas!



Happy Hanukkah!



As an amateur (major emphasis on the word amateur) historian, I’ve seen the above photograph several, several times. You can kind of guess the story behind it: Its the 1930’s, Hitler is in power and across the street a Nazi flag is unfurled, a sight not uncommon in those days. The photographer is Jewish and has set their menorah in the window. The message is clear: the darkness cannot conquer the light, good will always overcome evil, and God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5).

To learn the full story behind this photograph, click here.

Have a Happy Hanukkah!

Stefania Podgorska

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Helena Podgoska (left), Stefania Podgorska (right)

I recently learned that a hero of mine died last month. Her name was Stefania Podgorska and when she was seventeen years old, she and her little sister Helena saved thirteen Jews during the Holocaust.

Starring Kellie Martin, Tom Radcliffe, Marion Ross

I first learned of her story when I was sixteen and my family invited over some church friends to watch a movie called “Hidden in Silence.” A Lifetime Original Movie, it surpasses the TV movie. Filmed in the Czech Republic, one of the original thirteen rescued Jews makes a cameo at the beginning. It followed the story of Stefania “Fusia” Podgorska who worked for a Jewish family, the Diamant’s and loved them dearly. In 1941, Poland and the village of Przemysl was divided by the Germans and Russians, but by June the Germans invaded the Russian side and began to unleash their terror on the Jewish population. The Diamant’s are forced into the local ghetto and it isn’t long before the deportations begin. One of the Diamant sons, Max, asks Fusia to hide him and his friends and she agrees.

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Kellie Martin as Fusia Podgorska

For over two years, Fusia and her little sister, Helena hide thirteen Jews in their apartment’s attic. At one-point, German nurses moved in and Fusia and Helena were still able to keep their Jewish friends a secret from them. In autumn of 1944, the Soviets liberate their village and the Russians were astonished to find two girls successfully rescued thirteen people.

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Fusia (Kellie Martin) and Mrs. Diamant (Marion Ross)

After the war, Fusia and Max marry and years later she receives the honor of being one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

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Fusia (Kellie Martin) with Max (Tom Radcliffe) at the ghetto.

Stefania’s story resonated deeply with me. I knew quite a bit about the Holocaust, having read Anne Frank’s diary and a number of biographies on her, and having watched “Anne Frank: The Whole Story” and “Uprising.” It wasn’t long after watching “Hidden in Silence” that I started writing fiction based in Nazi Occupied Poland. If it weren’t for Stefania and “Hidden in Silence,” I probably wouldn’t have become fascinated by Poland and traveled there to tour Auschwitz and Krakow.

Fifteen years later, Stefania’s story continues to inspire me and encourages me to take a leap of faith.

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Stefania and Helena

So, may Stefania Podgorska rest in peace.

Stefania Podgorska Burzminski

For more information about Stefania, please CLICK HERE and look at the website her son created for her. And consider watching “Hidden in Silence.” It’s amazing.

10 Things God Wants You To Remember

Another post based on my minister’s sermon. Enjoy!

#1. God will be with you. (Joshua 1:9)

#2. God will bless you. (Deuteronomy 7:13)

#3. God will provide for you. (1 Timothy 6:17)

#4. God will give you rest. (Matthew 11: 28)

#5. God will go before you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

#6. God will guide you. (Isaiah 58:11)

#7. God will answer you. (Jeremiah 33:3)

#8. God will strengthen you. (Isaiah 41:10)

#9. God will not fail you. (Hebrews 13:5)

#10. God will always love you. (Jeremiah 31:3)


God be with you this week!