Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features wide-ranging, thought-provoking articles in English on any subject under the sun. Its objective is to present new, mind-changing ideas as well as to show to serious students of English how the various tools of the language can be felicitously harnessed to report a momentous or life-changing finding or event, to espouse or oppose an idea, or to express a deeply felt view about the world around us.

The outstanding English-language expositions to be featured here will mostly be presented through links to the websites that carry them. To put a particular work in better context, links to critiques, biographical sketches, and various other material about the author and his or her works will usually be also provided.

Finding the diamond in a slush pile of unpublishable books

The list of publishers’ book rejects that ultimately became phenomenal bestsellers is growing—notable among them are Rudyard Kipling’s first short stories, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, James Joyce’s Dubliners, Stephen King’s Carrie, and, more recently, JK Rowling’s The Philosopher’s Stone—so, understandably, not a few publishers lie awake at night fearful that they might have missed out on a gem of a book from among the scores of titles submitted to them for publication.

Adam Bielenberg takes up this theme in “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language,” an article he wrote for the November 19, 2010 issue of the Irish Independent.

In the case of Rowling’s manuscript for The Philosopher’s Stone, Bielenberg relates, it took a persistent eight-year-old girl to convince her father, Bloomsbury Publishing chief-executive Nigel Newton, that it held great promise, saying “Dad, this is so much better than anything else.” That book, retitled as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, proved to be one of the most successful investments in publishing history, spawning several sequels that have sold over 400 million copies and several box-office-hit films to date.

And to think that before that, Rowling—a divorced, single mother—had been told by several publishing houses that The Philosopher’s Stone was too lengthy to be a successful children’s book!

“The publishing executives who turned their noses up at JK Rowling can at least console themselves that they were not alone,” writes Bielenberg. “Gems are routinely lost in the vast amount of verbiage that comes their way.”

Read Adam Bielenberg’s “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language” in the Irish Independent now!

In an interview by Heather Riccio in the Hillary Career website, JK Rowling talks about how she wrote the Harry Potter series and how she got it published.

Read Heather Riccio’s interview with JK Rowling at the Hillary Career website now!

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