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If anyone is proof that a few rejections aren’t the end of the world, it’s some of the world’s greatest authors. So if the answer to ‘will you be my Valentine?’ wasn’t quite what you hoped for, take a leaf out of these writers’ books – and keep trying.

Turned down. Insulted. Mocked. These are just a few of the fates some of world’s most celebrated authors have suffered at the hand of ruthless publishers.

Here, we share just some of the feedback they received. So if you’re suffering from Valentine’s blues, take heart… Even J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times.

Carrie by Stephen King

“We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias.  They do not sell.”

Animal Farm by George Orwell

“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”

The Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway

"It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it."

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

“An irresponsible holiday story.”

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

“An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

“I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.”

On Sylvia Plath

“There certainly isn't enough genuine talent for us to take notice.”

The Deer Park by Norman Mailer

“This will set publishing back 25 years.”

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.”

A short story submission by Rudyard Kipling

“I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language."

Words to woo

And remember – if you’re after words to make your audience love you, you could always call us on 01225 731 373.