Of course, although for me (a mainly unpublished writer) receiving a full request from an editor is a huge deal, chances are that they'll read it and say "not for us."
It does help, I suppose to be published elsewhere first. Over the transom submissions are barely scanned in the first place, as there're always so many; it's much more difficult to be taken seriously when your submission looks as desperate as everyone else's.
Hooray, then, for my short story, "Calling Rain," coming out in the fall edition of A cappella Zoo, a small literary journal with a focus on magic realism that pays in copies (1). Still, I can use it on my queries now.... "My most recent short story will be coming out in...." Persuasive, and not wholly untrue.
(One would think I'd be ecstatic: all these opportunities! But for some reason--and perhaps it's a testament to some sort of ambition-fed character flaw--I'm not at all satisfied.)
I'm afraid there isn't much more news. Thesis time. A novel or a story collection? That's the question. Novels are more publishable. Collections are easier to put together. Plus, they have the added benefit of "chucking ease"; that is, you can scrap a story or two and not lose the collection. It's much more difficult to be told a character has to go, or two, or a subplot is weak, or the idea plain sucks.