After I volunteered to be a judge in the Mystery Writers of America St. Martin's Minotaur First Crime Novel competition, I had to wonder if I'd lost my mind. They warned me that many manuscripts would be coming my way. I expected the dregs from the slush pile. What I've received so far is fifteen manuscripts--most of which were good, and three of which are serious contenders.
What this playing judge has taught me is that there are a whole lot of excellent writers out there who are--as yet--unpublished. Most of the manuscripts I've read could and should be published, and I'd hazard a guess that most of them will be; if not through this competition, then by someone at another time.
Writers, don't give up! Trite as it sounds, so much of getting published is being in the right place at the right time. If you keep trying, you'll eventually find that right place and exactly the right time.
Now I just have to select the two I think are best. Hmmm......