There are many contests available for writers, both published and unpublished. For the unpublished, it is a good way to get your work in front of editors and agents in a competitive market. Contest wins also look good when submitting to an agent or editor. For the published, contest wins and finaling are ways to show your readers that others have enjoyed the book. They will attract a new audience that might not have tried you without those badges of honor.
Because there are so many contests, you can easily lose track of which contests you've submitted which works to. Here are some tips for keeping track of your contest submissions.
• Carefully review returned entries for feedback. Look at scores and comments.
• Take what is useful and disregard the rest.
• Incorporate any useful feedback into your project.
• Send thank-you notes to the judges for volunteering their time. This should be done regardless of whether you agree with the comments.
• Keep all expense reports (postage, copying, etc.) for tax purposes.