You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. -Octavia Butler
Butler launched her career in the ’60s by taking 5th place in a Writer’s Digest Short Story contest. She has won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards, as well as a Locus award. Butler was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.
If you’ve never read any sci-fi or fantasy by Ms. Butler, do yourself a favor and pick up one of her books. The first one I ever read was Dawn: Xenogenesis. It’s way too expensive on Amazon and not available for Kindle. Head over to your library and check it out!