The World of Jack London
Jack London's Busiest Year
By Russ Kingman
A portrait of young Jack London

Few authors ever wrote more steadily than did Jack london in 1899. In addition to his previously unsold items, he added sixty-one new stories, jokes, poems, essays, triolets, etc. These were mailed to seventy-four different magazines and twenty-one newspapers. According to his records, he went to the post office at least once on each of the 140 days during the year to send one or more manuscripts on their way. A total of 287 mailings were made in 1899. A few manuscripts were sold quickly, but most of them saw a lot of travel as they brought the 266 rejection slips home to him.

Jack was gaining ground despite the rejections. Previously he had known mostly failure, but now he was selling and being published. Friends who formerly looked askance at him were now looking with appreciation and a little awe. He was being encouraged more, and the newspapers were printing favorable articles about Oakland's young author.

Source: Kingman, Russ. A Pictorial Life of Jack London (Crown, 1979)
Portrait of young Jack London by Andrew J. Mill, San Jose. Source: The Bancroft Library
Photo enhancements and restoration by Zackel
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