Harry Potter author tells fans on Twitter that she was also rejected under pen name Robert Galbraith, saying ‘they don’t even want me in a beard’
JK Rowling has offered hope to aspiring authors everywhere, after revealing that the first literary agent she sent the manuscript of Harry Potter to responded with just a slip of paper rejecting it.
To add insult to injury, the agent also held onto the folder she submitted her work in, Rowling wrote on Twitter, in response to a question from a fan who asked if she would “ever get nervous emailing agents” when she first started out.
“The first agent I ever queried sent back a slip saying ‘My list is full. The folder you sent wouldn’t fit in the envelope,” replied Rowling. “I really minded about the folder, because I had almost no money and had to buy another one.”
.@Coffee_Is_love I really minded about the folder, because I had almost no money and had to buy another one.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 23, 2015
Asked: “How many folders do you have now JK?” by one of her 4.38m followers, the novelist replied, tongue in cheek: “I now have over a million folders, all made of costly silks, each one hand-gilded by artisans in Paris,” adding the hashtag JK, for “just kidding”, or in her case, Joanne Kathleen as well.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had been written in Edinburgh cafes while Rowling and her daughter lived on benefits. It was accepted by Christopher Little, the next literary agent she submitted it to.
She told another fan on Twitter that she received “loads” of rejections before she finally got published – Little sent the manuscript to 12 different publishers before it ended up with Bloomsbury.
“First publisher to turn down Harry also sent @RGalbraith his rudest rejection. They don’t even want me in a beard,” tweeted the novelist, referring to the Robert Galbraith pseudonym she adopted for her thrillers starring the private detective and war veteran Cormoran Strike. She was outed as the author of the first Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, by the Sunday Times.
This morning, she also comforted a Twitter follower asking if Galbraith got “nervous sending out his work for the first time even though he knew he was fab”, telling her: “Believe me, neither @RGalbraith nor I walk around thinking we’re fab. We just shoot for ‘writing better than yesterday’”.
This article was written by Alison Flood, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 24th March 2015 13.38 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010