Having trouble at school and wonder if you'll ever make it as a great author? I don't see why not.

1. Jack London

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Famous for Call of the Wild, he worked a variety of  odd jobs, including being an oyster pirate (whatever that is). He dropped out of  school at 13, but continued to read books. His first collection of short stories  were published when he was just 24.

2. H.G. Wells

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Famous for early science fiction, including The Time  Machine. He was pulled out of school when he was 11. His father was a professional cricket player who fractured his thigh, forcing his children to take up apprenticeships. Wells worked as a draper and hated, though his experience later inspired novels like The  Wheels of Chance and Kipps.

3. George Bernard Shaw

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Famous for plays like: Pygmalion, and Man and Superman. He dropped out of school at age 14. He had this to say of formal education: “Schools and schoolmasters, as we have them today,” he once wrote, “are not popular as places  of education and teachers, but rather prisons and turnkeys in which children are  kept to prevent them disturbing and chaperoning their parents.”

4. Harvey Pekar

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Best known for his dyspeptic comic series “American Splendor,” begun in 1976. Graduated from high school in 1957 but later dropped out of Case Western University after a year because “the pressure of required math classes became too much to bear.”

5. Mark Twain

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The author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn dropped out of school  at age 12. When his father died he and his siblings had to help support the  family. He worked with his older brother as a printer – and of course later as a  steamboat captain. He worked with his brother for a while before breaking out on  his own.

6. William Faulkner

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The author of The Sound and the Fury was already writing as a teenager (just poetry at first). He didn’t care much for school and dropped out  at age 15. Even though he didn’t have a high school diploma he managed to get  into Ole Miss as a special student at the age of 22 – his father worked there.  But, he dropped out of there too after only three semesters.

7. Jack Kerouac

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This underground celebrity who help found the beatnik generation, a progenitor of the hippy movement, penned such classics as On
the  Road
, and Big Sur. When in high  school, however, he was a jock, not a poet. As the star of his football team he  won a scholarship to Columbia University. Unfortunately he and his coach didn’t  get along and he was benched most of his freshman year. His football career  ended abruptly when he cracked his tibia, so he dropped out of school.

8. Charles Dickens

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With such classics as A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations (not to mention A Christmas Carol), it’s hard to believe  that Charles Dickens was a dropout. But at the age of 12 his father was tossed  into debtors’ prison and he was forced to out of his private education to work  at a boot blacking warehouse. He worked ten-hour days making six shillings a  week. His father eventually got out of prison thanks to an inheritance and  Charles was able to return to school, but his time in the factories colored  almost everything he produced.

9. Augusten Burroughs

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An American memoirist and comic essayist, he is best known for his New York Times bestselling memoir Running with Scissors. Augusten wanted to drop out of school at age 13, and his mother 
actually helped him do it. Together they faked his suicide. By 17 he got his GED  and changed his name. No sooner had he enrolled in Holyoke Community College  than he flunked out. Later he moved to New York and worked in an advertising  agency then published his first memoir,
Running with Scissors, when he was just  37 years old.

10. Harper Lee

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You might remember a little story called, To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper loved literature during high school, but once she got into college pursued a legal career. By her junior year she had the opportunity to start her law studies while concurrently continuing with her undergraduate work. She ditched it all after a couple of semesters and get this, moved to New York to become a writer…and so she did.

 


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