My first real publication credit was a poem called "Tangible Darkness." It appeared in the fifth issue of NightWorld magazine, way back in 1991. NightWorld was a great semi-pro horror mag, published by Lyman Feero. It featured fiction, reportage, poetry, movie reviews, interviews and a wonderfully sick illustrated serial. I felt like a real writer when my contributor copy arrived in the mail (at the ripe old age of 23, I had accumulated reams of rejection letters).
Flipping through that issue today, I still get a good feeling, which is somewhat mitigated by the knowledge that "Tangible Darkness" was, at best, mediocre. Just like rejections, a writer wincing at his or her early published works is part of the developmental process.