Don’t believe that you have to “know someone” to get published (or get an agent or win a prize). Nothing good that has happened to me as a writer happened because I knew someone. Everyone in the lit business is looking for poems and stories and essays and books they love. This doesn’t mean dumb things don’t occur, that there is no such thing as this leading to that because so-and-so knew so-and-so, but beautiful things happen far more often than most people seem to believe. Make people fall in love with your writing. That’s how you get published.
– Cheryl Strayed FAQ