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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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10 Rejection Letters Sent to Celebrities Before They Were Famous

1.) U2: Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr., and Adam Clayton formed their U2 in 1976 when they were just teens. In 1979, they submitted their first single to London-based RSO Records, who rejected them saying the music was “not suitable for us at present.” Within a year, U2 had signed with Island Records and released their first international single, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock.”
2.) Andy Warhol: In 1956, Andy Warhol attempted to donate his work to the Museum of Modern Art. On October 18th the artist received a letter rejecting the work “which you so generously offered as a gift to the Museum.” (Today, MoMA owns 168 of Warhol’s pieces.)
3.) Sylvia Plath: Howard Moss is The New Yorker editor that rejected Sylvia Plath’s Amnesiac. Although, he did admit that perhaps he was being “dense.”
4.) Madonna: This rejection letter sent to Madonna’s team most likely took place before she signed with Sire Records in 1982, a year before she released her first, self-titled album. That album sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Even though she was not “ready yet.”
5.) Kurt Vonnegut: Later an award-winning novelist, Kurt Vonnegut was often rejected. In 1949, he received a letter from Edward Weeks, editor of The Atlantic Monthly, who said his samples “have drawn commendation although neither one is quite compelling enough for final acceptance.” A framed copy of the letter hangs in Indianapolis’ Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.
6.) Tim Burton: In 1976, while still a high-schooler, he sent a copy of his children’s book, The Giant Zlig, to Walt Disney Productions for publication consideration. It was rejected, but a few years later, the company brought Burton on as an animator’s apprentice.
7.) Gertrude Stein: This poet’s prose was too dense for Arthur C. Fifield to even bother reading the full manuscript for The Making of Americans, which he declined in 1912.
8.) Jim Lee: Today, Jim Lee is an artist, a writer, and the co-publisher of DC Comics. In the mid-1980s, he was struggling to find his place in the industry, and was even rejected by Marvel.
9.) Stieg Larsson: This rejection to his application to journalism school in Stockholm at the Joint Committee of Colleges of Journalism was discussed by publisher Christopher MacLehose, who said, “This is a letter saying ‘you are not good enough to be a journalist’ to a man who went on to create a supremely creative, crusading magazine which fought against the worsening tide of extreme right thinking and activity in Sweden.”
10.) Hunter S. Thompson: Technically, HST wrote this rejection letter to William McKeen, author of a 1991 biography of Thompson (he wasn’t a fan). Thompson sent McKeen a handwritten review of the book (which William then framed).
If failure ever slaps you across the face, take a page out of Madonna or U2′s book. Don’t give up. Not everyone will like what you do, but eventually, you will find a way.


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