Award winning writer
I have often said, three things make your name known.
Money - If you have the money, you can go to University, and get a degree. If you have the money, you can pay for mass publicity, and get noticed.
Degrees - If you get the education, and stick a BA after your name, people will assume you know what you're writing about - that does NOT make you a writer - I tried to review two works by authors with BA's, and couldn't. One was so bad the number of grammatical errors gave me a severe migraine. The other, despite being edited three times, still had basic errors in grammar. But, as the writers had degrees, people took notice. One of the Universities I am sure was a University which needed a certain % pass rate to maintain its status.
Luck - To a greater, or lesser extent, we all need a certain amount of luck to advance. One man I used to know, was put in touch with an expert in the field of Mayan studies at the time of the Mayan calendar craze. Naturally his book thrived during 2012, and did wonders for his other works.
I had none of the above. Until two years ago, when I met my friend, and editor, Julia, I was forced to struggle and endure vicious put downs by a jealous person I had the misfortune to cross paths - and swords with. I have friends with degrees, and we respect each others views, the worst people are those who think they are better than you, and find out they are not, as this lady did when I beat her in a writing contest.
I do wonder what it would have been like to have had the chance to get a better education. There again, there is no use wondering what may have happened, it wasn't to be, and that is that.