They say that 90% of success is just showing up, and that's always been true. There is no rockstar anywhere who never actually played or sang some music, and there are no prize winning novelists anywhere who never sat down and wrote something for a few weeks. The first two of Heinlein's Rules can be adapted to anything, anywhere.
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
Since I've been a bit under the weather (I may have mentioned it) I haven't actually been doing anything useful, but I did decide to apply the showing-up philosophy to online competitions. I didn't search for any – that's too much like hard work. I just entered the ones that came in for my favorite bands through the magic of Google Alerts.
If you enter a competition, you probably won't win, but let's face it, if you don't enter them, you definitely won't win. Odds go from infinity against to reasonable. So I entered about five and won one.
All I had to do was take out a free online subscription, cancelable at any time, to Stereo Subversion magazine. I had no idea what Stereo Subversion was, and they haven't actually emailed me anything on the subscription so I can't read it and tell you. I emailed the editor who gave me my prize to ask for a web button so I could give them a free boost here but he didn't reply, so I might actually never find out what it is. However, that's not what's important. What's important is I won the giveaway and now am in possession of a second copy of The Dead Weather's Horehound on CD (looks like a promo copy - the bar code is punched through) and a lovely 7" of their Treat Me Like Your Mother B/W You Just Can't Win.
Moral of story: Do enter the competitions. You may think they are oversubscribed, but hey, you'll never find out if you don't try.
Stereo Subversion seems quite interesting, if they ever do send me a newsletter.
Here they are on the subject of The Dead Weather.
And here's their home page. No graphics for you (see above for reason).