Debut Novel on Booker Prize Longlist Was Rejected 47 Times Before Finally Being Published

Posted on July 25, 2013

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan's debut novel, The Spinning Heart, is on the 2013 longlist for the Man Booker Prize. Ryan is proof that perseverance can really pay off. His novel was rejected 47 times before finally being published. reports that Ryan's novel was finally discovered in the slush pile by an intern working at Lilliput Press in Dublin.

Ryan told The Irish Times he was convinced he wouldn't make the longlist and even booked time to get over the inevitable disappointment. Ryan says, "Even though I knew I wouldn't really have a right to be disappointed I had booked the day off work and planned to stay at home on my own so nobody would have to look at my long face."

Ryan also talked to The Irish Times about a period in 2010 when he became used to rejection slips. Ryan says, "In 2010 I found myself with two manuscripts which I thought were gems but in fact they were really just first drafts ... I went against all advice that is given to aspiring novelists, and I sent out manuscripts and emails all over the place. The only thing about it was I became used to rejection very quickly because they came thick and fast."

Photo: The Lilliput Press

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