I've recently entered a writing contest for the first time, written a short story but then didn't submit it to another contest (for various reasons), and have been thinking about the value of those excitement-making but perhaps unsubstantiated pursuits called WRITING CONTESTS.
As timely as ever, Nathan Bransford approaches this topic and has some good advice.
For me, I've decided to use writing contests as a way to motivate myself to work on specific topics, themes, or even formats. Why not? But like Bransford suggests, read the fine print.
How about you? Have you ever entered a writing contest? Any winners? Why did you do it?