Jennifer Weiner disagrees with an assertion made in The Philadelphia Inquirer that "Writing is a racket. Most published authors know other writers or editors. Connections are everything."
Her rebuttal rocks (you should read the whole thing):
The myth that you need the right degree, the right last name, and the right connections to get a book deal is just that-- a myth (and one, I've noticed, that's most fervently embraced by people on the outside of the publishing world....the ones, perhaps, who like to think that if only they had the right connections, they'd be on the best seller list, too). Printing it like it's the gospel truth isn't doing readers, or writers, any favors.
I recommend her weblog, of course. And her advice to writers. Her novel Good In Bed is fun, too. (I haven't yet read her second novel.)