I posted about a writing contest that I had entered. It was the first one I had ever entered and didn't expect much to come out of my short story. WELL, I didn't win a prize, but I was one of the top 25 finalists and will be published! I'm super stoked. If you want to publish novels, it's best to have SOME publications under your belt. This will be my first.
It's worth it to join these writing contests, people, especially ones that offer to publish more than just the winners (like this one did). It's a good experience, and could win you some publications or maybe even awards.
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