After years of writing and only ever getting published in very small, specialized places (if at all) I just made the Top 50 list in Glimmer Train Stories contest Best Start. Yes! True, I didn't publish a whole story (Best Start is just what it sounds like- the start or a certain section in a story limited to 1,000 words) and true, the piece won't actually be published in the magazine itself, just listed on their website but still: Glimmer Train! They are a great magazine with a great reputation and they told me only five percent of the entries made it. Maybe it will help me get published somewhere else. Even if it doesn't, it's a great encouragement and trust me, in the lonely, thankless world of a writer that is gift enough!
Here's a link the list. That's me that wrote Juanita. :)