During the crazy course of the last year, I've fallen behind on some of the great resources offered by Absolute Write forums, a huge writer-happy board online. The Freelance Forum (I'm a newly-minted mod there now) has seen the resurrection of its Freelance Assignment Contests after I whined about missing them on Facebook. Since I nearly always get what I want (HA!), they've started up again with this month's theme focusing on queries. I, naturally, had to pass as I've got nothing even remotely in the chute and won't be ready to roll for a few more weeks at least. However, the ideas are brilliant for this contest -- have a publication-ready (or nearly ready) article ready to go --> submit it to the contest anonymously --> be voted on by your peers as the best and get valuable feedback on what can be improved upon. The winner gets a lovely button and various donated prizes.
Okay, it may not sound like much now but those writers are FIERCE.
I'm a fan of contests in general, not the $200 entry fees for big contests but of getting the guts to send something out and get your feet wet. What are some of your favorite contests? I always enter the Erma Bombeck Writing Competion though I have no doubt they're going to choose someone who writes about spaghetti and vomit. No idea why. It must be an Ohio thing.