Original Rejection Letters to Superstars early in their Careers (9 Letters)

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U2, rejected by RSO Records, 1979 („We have listened with careful consideration, but feel it is not suitable for us at present. We wish you luck with your future career.“)

Schlussmachbriefe, kennt das noch einer von Euch? Also die Schreiben der ersten Freundinnen, so im Alter zwischen 7 und 11 Jahren, da wurde immer noch auf dem Postwege Schluss gemacht. Heute reicht ja eine SMS kostenlose WhatsApp-Nachricht, da musste man früher schon mehr investieren und das, obwohl man in diesem Alter noch nicht einmal Sex hatte. Die nächsten Schlussmachbriefe waren dann die Absagen von den Lehrstellen, die keinen Bock auf einen hatten. Ebenfalls postalisch. Und sollte der ein oder andere von Euch irgendwas Künstlerisches machen und hat daher schon einmal Anschluss bei irgendwelchen Plattenfirmen, Verlagshäusern, Museen, Zeitungen oder sonstwelchen Firmen gesucht, dann kennt die/derjenige das sicherlich auch: Absagen. Oder halt Rejection Letters. Hier haben wir 9 Original Ablehnungsschreiben von besagten Institutionen, die keinen Bock auf U2 (den „luck in the future“ hatten sie dann ja), Andy Warhol oder Madonna („I do not feel that she is ready yet“ – hätte er mal gewartet!) hatten – wayyy back in time. Not suitable yo ass!


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Andy Warhol, rejected by The Museum of Modern Art, 1956

The Committee decided, after careful consideration, that they ought not to accept it for our Collection. P.S. The drawing may be picked up from the Museum at your convenience.

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Sylvia Plath, rejected by The New Yorker, 1962

We like the second section of AMNESIAC very much, but cannot see any relation between it and the first section. Perhaps we are being dense.

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Madonna, rejected by Millennium Records, 1981

The only thing missing from this project is the material. I did not like „Love On The Run“ at all. I do not feel that she is ready yet.

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Kurt Vonnegut, rejected by The Atlantic Monthly, 1949

I am sincerely sorry that no one of [the three papers you submitted] seems to us well adapted for our purpose. Both the account of the bombing of Dresden and your article, „What’s a Fair Price for Golden Eggs?“ have drawn commendation although neither one is quite compelling enough for final acceptance.

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Tim Burton, rejected by Disney, 1976

The story is simple enough for a young audience (age 4-6), cute, and shows a grasp of the language much better than I would expect from one of today’s high school students, despite occasional lapses in grammar and spelling. It may, however, be too derivative of the Seuss works to be marketable…

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Gertrude Stein, rejected by publisher Arthur C. Fifield, 1912

Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one. Many thanks. I am returning the [manuscript] by registered post. Only one [manuscript] by one post.

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Jim Lee, rejected by Marvel Comics, 1986

Your work looks as if it were done by four different people…. Resubmit when your work is consistent and when you have learned to draw hands.

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Stieg Larsson, rejected by the Joint Committee of Colleges of Journalism in Stockholm, 1972

Ok, this one’s in Swedish, and we don’t pretend to know any Swedish beyond what Google Translate can tell us. But we do know that this letter is telling the famed journalist and author of the Millennium trilogy of crime novels that his test scores were too low to permit entrance into journalism school.

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[via 22words]

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