I have spent £100 on nine writing competitions over the last few days, just for a change from the regular submission process. The results won’t be out for a few months for most of them, but I always find it best to consider that as lost money, and anything I may get back is a bonus.
Do I expect a profit? Well, even one placing in any of those competitions would go some way towards it, but historically I have not done particularly well in this area – runner-up in a comedy contest for £30, and third in a flash contest for £100, being the only two placings I have had. Both of those were last year. I never really put much emphasis on competitions until a couple of years ago, and by then I had submitted through the regular channels hundreds of times. I find that contest writing is almost a different skill; in some ways more precise, more pure, and in other ways more reliant on luck and a little inside knowledge.
So, fingers crossed I know the right people.