Before They Were Famous: Stephen King

Steven King

One of America’s most beloved horror and suspense writers, Stephen King has published numerous best-selling titles including The Shinning, Misery and the Dark Tower series. The recipient of a Bram Stoker Award, an O. Henry Award and many other literary honors, King has penned 54 novels and nearly 200 hundred short stories. 

However, King’s early career was fraught with struggles as the now-established author suffered many rejections in addition to financial stress. While writing his first novel, Carrie, King became so discouraged he discarded his manuscript. Luckily, his wife Tabitha retrieved the draft from the trash and encouraged her husband to keep writing.

In 1973, Doubleday Publishing House accepted King’s Carrie for printing, paying him $400,000 for the paperback rights. This was a significant sum of money for the struggling writer. This was King’s first major publishing success and the one that would solidify his career.

In the decades since then, King has continued to publish profusely both as himself and under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Despite his initial hardships, he has distinguished himself as a remarkable writer with a macabre imagination, a favorite among many for his strange and unsettling fiction. 

— Dominique Dusek, Assistant Managing & Submissions Manager

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