I entered my first writing competition when I was a teenager in secondary school - and I won a prize! Encouraged by my success, I entered more competitions and, apart from 2 (I think), I was placed in or won every competition I entered (while still in school). Naturally enough, I liked entering competitions. There was usually a monetary reward and a prize giving where people said lots of nice things about your writing. However, now that I am older, I am questioning my continued involvement with competitions. First of all, I haven't been able to keep up my winning streak. Secondly, I am spending quite a bit of money on entry fees and thirdly - how impressive does winning a competition sound when you approach publishers and agents? Sure, if you win the Bridport Prize or the Aeon Award it is worth mentioning on your writing cv, but if you are highly commended on Joe Blogg's writing contest from Brigadoon, does it mean all that much? Isn't an editor much more likely to be impressed by the other markets that have published your work than the amount of small competitions you have entered? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm going to give up entering competitions, but I might be more picky in the future.