No matter your skill level, there is probably a contest out there for you.
Some of my favorite contests are local contests. A popular writer's maxim is write what you know. When contests are regional, you already have something in common with the judge, and the subject matter/theme/characters/settings will be familiar.
My first win was a regional contest.
Recently the winners were announced for 2013 Dylan Days. The contest, inspired by Bob Dylan and coordinated by Adam Brown, compiles entries into a journal called Talkin' Blues.
“People who come to Dylan Days can pick up a copy of the journal and see that literature truly can come from the grassroots, some inspired by greats like Dylan and others, like Dylan, writing in new voices.”This year, there will be a workshop facilitated by a local poet, Sheila Packa.