I may have mentioned this already, but I love competitions. For the writer, competitions are a way to set mini-targets throughout the year, to give some deadlines and (hopefully!) build something of a writing cv.
I have a soft spot for Winchester, since it was winning the RPM prize in 2002 that marked my decision to write seriously, so I`m delighted that Family Snap got second place in the Slim Volum/Small Edition comp this year. I`ve won this twice before, and Winchester has some great prizes: 5o copies of your bound novel. How`s that for an incentive?
Every year Barbara Large organises the conference, and 15 competitions. You don`t have to attend to enter, although you do have to pay for each entry (£9, if memory serves.) But you do get a critique and all winners are published in an anthology.