60 Rejection Letters Didn’t Stop Kathryn Stockett and Her Bestseller “The Help”

Talk about an inspirational story: Kathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling book (and now highly successful movie) The Help, received 60 rejection letters over 3 and a half years—and still didn’t give up. Good thing she didn’t. You have to read this great article by Stockett about her determination. Here’s an excerpt:

A few months later, I sent it to a few more agents. And received a few more rejections. Well, more like 15. I was a little less giddy this time, but I kept my chin up. “Maybe the next book will be the one,” a friend said. Next book? I wasn’t about to move on to the next one just because of a few stupid letters. I wanted to write this book.

A year and a half later, I opened my 40th rejection: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.” That one finally made me cry. “You have so much resolve, Kathryn,” a friend said to me. “How do you keep yourself from feeling like this has been just a huge waste of your time?”

That was a hard weekend. I spent it in pajamas, slothing around that racetrack of self-pity—you know the one, from sofa to chair to bed to refrigerator, starting over again on the sofa. But I couldn’t let go of The Help. Call it tenacity, call it resolve or call it what my husband calls it: stubbornness.

After rejection number 40, I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekends. They were amazed by how many times a person could repaint her apartment. The truth was, I was embarrassed for my friends and family to know I was still working on the same story, the one nobody apparently wanted to read.


Check out the entire story here on Yahoo’s Shine website for women:
Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller

Still not enough to inspire you? Here are a few more great articles worth checking out on writers that persevered through and how to best deal with rejection:

8 Badass Books That Were Rejected by Publishers
How to Turn Rejection Letters into a Positive
Back to Basics: Why Am I Getting Rejected?
Agent Scott Hoffman On: Making Sense of a Rejection Letter

EVER WISH YOU COULD BE THE ONE DOING THE REJECTING?
Take the WD challenge by humorously rejecting a hit in 400 words or fewer. Send your letter to wdsubmissions@fwmedia.com with “Reject a Hit” in the subject line. Yours could appear in a future issue! (Submitted pieces may be edited for space or clarity.) So far we’ve had readers reject Dr. Suess, JK Rowling and more. Who will you reject?

 

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