J.K. Rowling is one of the world’s most successful writers, with several hundred million pounds in the bank and more awards you can shake a seven-book series at. But you wouldn’t know it from her rejection letters.

Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (known in the U.S. as Sorcerer’s Stone), had been rejected a dozen times before finding a home at Bloomsbury; her subsequent Harry Potter novels never so much as grazed the rejection pile. As for her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith—the name under which she publishes her crime fiction—it’s another story.

Rowling recently posted two of her, that is, Galbraith’s rejections to her Twitter page. They’re both devastating in their own ways.


The first one delicately recommends that the writer should brush up on the basics, which is an ouch-inducing suggestion for any writer, particularly one of Rowling’s stature.

But as a writer, I find the second note even more painful: It suggests that the manuscript reader never read more than a few pages before stopping in boredom. There’s nothing personal about this rejection at all. It’s just a flat-out no.

Rowling is a good egg for posting this and letting us lesser mortals know that even she feels the sting of rejection.  Let us know in the comments how much better you feel about your own writing, knowing even Rowling suffers the pain of rejection.

Via Twitter: JK_Rowling.

Feature Image Credit: BBC