I've heard arguments for and against writing contests.
Some anti-contest writers say they don't enter because the judges are unqualified - according to one writer on a recent message board post, not nearly as skilled as the writers he/she is judging. Some feel that writing contests are too subjective and don't serve any purpose at all, except to promote pride or dejection.
I, on the other hand, am a proponent for writing contests. This may be partly because I love the feeling I get when I win! (Does anyone NOT?) But really, it's more than that. It's the feedback I receive from the judges. Although is sometimes stings, I'll take the bad with the good. AND I'll take that feedback from judges who may not be as qualified as I am. Hey, God can teach me things through very unlikely sources.
Another reason I love writing contests is for the possibility of getting my work in front of agents and/or editors. Contests and writing conferences are the two ways to guarantee your work will actually get read instead of sit at the bottom of the slush pile. One contest I finaled in resulted in the agent requesting my full manuscript. Other writers I know have actually acquired contracts this way. It really does happen!
So it usually costs something to enter. Financially. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. But hey. Does anything worth having NOT cost something? Even Jesus' free gift of salvation requires that we reach out our hand and take it. Not to mention simply being a believer requires sacrifice on our part every day.
But I digress. This isn't about whether you should or shouldn't enter contests. This post is for those who DO want to enter contests but don't know where to find them.
A while ago, I came across a great site that provides links to a ton of writing contests. The site is regularly updated and lists the contests ending the soonest on top. But not only is this a chart of contest deadlines, it also includes details about what type of contest it is, eligibility, how to submit, who the judges are, what the prize is, and the cost to enter. I do not know Stephanie Smith personally, but she offers a great resource for writers interested in entering contests. And I just wanted to share it with you guys.
So here is the link. Hope it helps! STEPHANIE SMITH'S CONTEST CHART FOR WRITERS