So you've been writing, write - I mean - right? Wonderful! There are all kinds of books, articles, blogs and authors who can give you advice on getting the words down on paper. Here are a few suggestions for presenting your work for publication. It's a process, one that takes time, and it makes all the difference to do it right!
Complete the manuscript. You learn so much in the process between 'Once upon a time' and 'The end'. Don't give up, finish it so YOU know the whole story. It makes it easier to submit when you feel confident about the total package.
Do the research. Research publishers to know if they publish your type of story. Research agents to know if they represent your type of story. Research the reading market to know who will read your story. Research your topic looking for connections between your story and current events and interests.
Present your best work and your best self. Getting to 'The End' doesn't mean you're ready for publication. Make sure before that manuscript goes out, it's as free of mistakes as you can make it. Check spelling, grammar, typos, and eliminate weak verbs. Find a guide like Self Editing for Fiction Writers. Enlist a friend who loves your genre to read through your story. When you have a meeting, dress the part of the professional. A sloppy, starving-artist look implies a sloppy manuscript.
Create the 25 word pitch. This is vital. It's the crux of the story. And it takes more than a couple minutes to develop. When you're selling your work to an agent or editor, this is the focused pitch line that sparks enough interest to get the request. The Novel Writer's Toolkit does an excellent job of teaching this important skill.