Those in the publishing industry, and the entertainment business, have often citied conflicting views on rejection.

Some prefer to shield themselves from hurt with a steely resolve that their work is superior to those that judge it.

Others welcome criticism, and fully embrace the notion that only through rejection will they learn how to improve.

This collection reflects that diversity, so that all writers will be able to find a snippet of inspiration to continue the pursuit of their own dream.

The names below link to either their personal websites, or sites which offer more details about them and their work.

Please feel free to use the tweet buttons underneath each quote to share them with your followers on Twitter. To make this process easier all of the quotes have been edited to fit within the constraints of a tweet. So when you click on the relevant button a shortened version of the quote will appear in your tweet box enabling you to share it instantly.

About Rejection

“Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil - but there is no way around them.”  Isaac Asimov

“Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance, not in the atmosphere of rejection.”  John Powell 

“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”  Ray Bradbury

“Rejected pieces aren't failures; unwritten pieces are.”  Greg Daugherty

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”  Bo Bennett

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book - I'll waste no time reading it.”  Moses Hadas

“I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long.”  Louise Brown

“Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”  Neil Gaiman

“This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'. Just keep looking for the right address.”  Barbara Kingsolver

“You are never given a dream without being given the power to make it true.”  Richard Bach

“Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”  Samuel Johnson

“This is not a book that should be tossed lightly aside. It should be hurled with great force.”  Dorothy Parker

“The road to ignorance is paved with good editors.”  George Bernard Shaw

"There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.”  James Lee Burke

“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.”  Jonathan Swift

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”  T S Eliot

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”  Kurt Vonnegut

“Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks.”  Dottie Walters

“Don't be dismayed by the opinions of editors, or critics. They are only the traffic cops of the arts.”  Gene Fowler

“The only one who doesn't make mistakes is the one who doesn't do anything.”  V. I. Lenin

“There is probably no hell for authors in the next world - they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.”  C. N. Bovee

“I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours - so enjoy the view.”  Michael York

“I've got a folder full of rejection slips that I keep. Know why? Because those same editors are now calling my agent hoping I'll write a book or novella for them. Things change. A rejection slip today might mean a frantic call to your agent in six months.”  Mary Janice Davidson

“If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.”  W. C. Fields

“A writer should have another lifetime to see if he's appreciated.”  Jorge Luis Borges

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your dreams. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.”  Mark Twain

“A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.”  Ring Lardner

“The story is always better than your ability to write it.”  Robin McKinley

“All great innovations are built on rejections.”  Louis Ferdinand Céline

“Dearer are those who reject us as unworthy, for they add another life; they build a heaven before us whereof we had not dreamed, and thereby supply to us new powers out of the recesses of the spirit, and urge us to new and unattempted performances.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”  Samuel Beckett

“I tell writers to keep reading, reading, reading. Read widely and deeply. And I tell them not to give up even after getting rejection letters. And only write what you love.”  Anita Diamant

“We will not allow rejection to beat us down. It will only strengthen our resolve. To be successful there is no other way.”  Earl G. Graves

“If you're a voracious reader and you write something that you want to read, odds are other people will want to read it, too.”  Tim Maleeny

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  Albert Einstein

“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.”  James Lee Burke

“After rejection - misery, then thoughts of revenge, and finally, oh well, another try elsewhere.”  Mason Cooley

“Never buy an editor or publisher a lunch or a drink until he has bought an article, story or book from you. This rule is absolute and may be broken only at your peril.”  John Creasey

“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”  Sylvester Stallone

“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm.”  Norman Vincent Peale

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”  Elbert Hubbard

“Editors drive us nuts. We go from near-worshipful grovelling when we submit to bitter cursing when they reject us.”  Ken Rand

"I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, "To hell with you."”  Saul Bellow

“I've been reading reviews of my stories for twenty-five years, and can't remember a single useful point in any of them, or the slightest good advice. The only reviewer who ever made an impression on me was Skabichevsky, who prophesied that I would die drunk in the bottom of a ditch.”  Anton Chekhov

“I wrote poems in my corner of the Brooks Street station. I sent them to two editors who rejected them right off. I read those letters of rejection years later and I agreed with those editors.”  Carl Sandburg

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.”  Isaac Asimov

“There are two wrong reactions to a rejection slip: deciding it's a final judgment on your story and/or talent, and deciding it's no judgment on your story and/or talent.”  Nancy Kress

“I wrote for twelve years and collected 250 rejection slips before getting any fiction published, so I guess outside reinforcement isn't all that important to me.”  Lisa Alther

“Practice, practice, practice until you eventually get numb on rejections.”  Brian Klemmer

“If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.”  Dolly Parton

“To ward off a feeling of failure, she joked that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejection slips, which she chose not to see as messages to stop, but rather as tickets to the game.”  Anita Shreve

“If your ship hasn't come in - swim out to it.”  Mary Engelbreit

“I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I'm going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.”  James Lee Burke

“True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.”  Paul Sweeney

“Never, EVER give up. Not ever. Not EVER. Ever EVER!”  Mary Janice Davidson

“Over emphatic negatives always suggest that what is being denied may be what is really being asserted.”  Jonathan Raban

“This is a stamina game, so don't despair if you run down a blind alley and have to start over, or if you get another rejection letter. Every successful writer has gone through that, but they kept writing and didn't quit until they made it happen.”  Tim Maleeny

“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”  Les Brown

“Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.”  Jules Renard

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  Thomas Edison  

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