This is a fun topic and got me reminiscing. I've only entered one writing contest and it was on a whim. I was in high school and the school announced an annual contest known as the "Shaw Essay Contest."
I'd never heard of it before, though I was a senior, but I found out one got excused from 6th period to participate. And I happened to not be all that interested in World History, or whatever my 6th period class was. So I figured, "Why not?"
I still remember that the topic we had to write on was, "It's in the Air," and being a child of the 60s I wrote about how fighter jets were in the air, napalm was in the air, and finally, that love was in the air...
Danged if I didn't win!! Which was really fun, because I got to have my essay published in the local paper, and was feted at a luncheon. Plus my yearbook blurb says I'm the winner for 1970.
Anyway, all this got me to thinking about entering contests, and I discovered that both Writers Digest and The Writer have contests open right now...
You can find out about the Writers Digest contests here: Writers Digest Competitions http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions
And those sanctioned by The Writer are here: The Writer
Hope that's enough variety to get all of you started on a winning effort!!