From a lot of the research I've done, it seems that one of the best ways to get your manuscript out of the slushpile is if your name actually carries a little weight. In essence, you should already be published, at least in magazines, before you could have a chance of getting a novel published. Then again, other sources say it isn't so. But which way is it? If I were to, say, somehow make a career in writing in the waaaaaay-off distant future, would I have to start now with magazine submissions and work my way up? I, for one, absolutely abhor writing short stories. It annoys me to no end. So would trying to go in as a new-blood be hopeless?