We all want to be recognized for our writing. Whether we want a best selling book award or not, we want someone to find value or strength in our work, even if that person is usually just ourselves and our close friends.
But entering various writing contests or awards can be a total waste of time, and actually detrimental to you, even if you get some recognition for your written words. Perhaps entering for the award gives them publishing rights. Perhaps there is not prestige that will help you move towards being a more well known writer in it. Perhaps, perhaps.
But the biggest problem of all are those awards that are fun only for profit, and that is what I want to help you avoid!
So, try to avoid any award programs that do the following:
Solicitation - To maximize entries, profiteering awards and contests solicit entries. Anything out of the blue and asking you to enter should be avoided.
High entry fees - If they're going for a profit, they charge $50, $60, $75, or even more. It's not worth it.
Dozens or scores of entry categories - With more categories and encouraging multiple entries, they can make more money.
Anonymous judging - If they don't reveal who the experts are, the judging is probably done by staff, or they just randomly select the 'winners.'
Non-prize prizes - Prizes given cost little to nothing to help they make more money. Some offer little more than the supposed honor of winning the award.