Entering contests is often a stressful endeavor. By the time you read the rules, go through your body of work, get the entry materials and complete all the necessary details, you may decide it's not worth your time. But that old adage, "You can't win if you don't enter," is absolutely true.
How is entering contest worth it? Let's count the ways:
1) You may have the perfect piece to enter.
2) You're proud of what you've written, photographed, edited, designed or completed.
3) You can determine how you measure up to others in your field.
4) You will meet deadlines.
5) Prizes range from a certificate or free book to a gift card to actual cash.
6) Once you gather everything together and send it off, you know you've
7) Few contests prohibit people from entering again and again.
8) Some contests offer critiques.
9) At banquets where prizes are awarded, you meet others in your field.
10) You will improve your skills or at least learn something just by going through the process.
I've entered photography contests and writing contests, naming contests and word contests. I have won some, nearly won some and lost many, but the process helped me:
1) Develop organizational skills
2) Pay attention to details
3) Improve concentration
4) Manage time
5) Gain confidence
I say, go for it. Enter contests. You will come out a winner whether you get a prize or not.