I have to snag a brag moment here. I entered a couple writing contests a couple months ago and got honorable mention in one of them. As one of two other honorable mentions, I'll be published in a book of anthologies! This will by my second publication in a book of anthologies coming out next year. I'll keep you posted!
Enter writing contests, people! Writing short stories is the perfect way to practice tightening your work. (I'll know I'm good enough to really move forward as a novelist once I can win first place in one.) Plus it helps to have SOME publications on your resume.
Here's a link to their site if you're intersted in checking out The United Authors Association: https://theuaa.org/events/contests2015/
I must go make a few revisions to my story. Stay tuned...