My favorite feature is the Obituary department

In 1961, the following submission letter — written by an aspiring author aged just 14 — arrived at the offices of Spacemen Magazine accompanied by a copy of “The Killer,” the polite youngster’s latest short story. Unfortunately for him the magazine’s editor, Forrest Ackerman, didn’t deem the tale worthy of inclusion at that point, and it would be another 33 years before he changed his mind and decided to publish it in issue #202 of another of his magazines: Famous Monsters of Filmland.

By that time, however, the story’s author, Stephen King, was already rather successful.

Transcript follows.

(Source: C. Lawrence; Image: Stephen King as a kid, via.)


Dear Editor,

I am 14 years of age, and have been writing as far back as I can remember, and submitting manuscripts for the last couple of years. I subscribe to your magizine, and my favorite feature is the Obituary department, although “O. Henry’s Comet,” for which this story is intended, runs a close second.,

Thanks very much for reading my story. I hope you see your way clear to put it in “O. Henry’s Comet.”


(Signed, ‘Stephen King’)

Stephen King
Rt #1, Pownal