Someone asked me today how long I'd been "doing this". I wasn't sure what she meant, so I replied I'd been writing for pay for fifty years, assessing since the mid 1980s and editing for around twenty years. I hadn't realised that anniversary had come around until she asked.
The first story I was paid for was called Under a Lucky Star. I wrote it at school for a contest and won. I think the prize was twenty dollars. After that, I wrote other competition pieces and sold a few. It's a long time... So, happy anniversary to me, eh?