10. Because you can't beat the frenzy of scrambling to write 300 pages in two weeks, when you get a request on a partial after a contest final.
9. Nothing is better than realizing you just mailed off your rough draft and the pristine copy is still sitting on your computer.
8. The belly laugh you get when you realize you entered a contest yesterday, that is judged by the agent/editor who sent you a callous rejection today.
7. The thrill of spending $30 on the entry fee, and $20 on postage, only to discover you entered the wrong category.
6. The amusement of getting really high scores but no comments.
5. The amusement of getting really low scores but no comments.
4. Oh, those judges! At least once in an unpublished career an entrant will receive a carefully marked up entry by a generous judge who spent time to provide a constructive critique delivered with thoughtfulness.
3. The adrenaline rush of seeing your name in print. The RWR!
2. Bling. Bling is a good reason.
AND THE #1 REASON TO ENTER A CONTEST???
1. The pride that comes from knowing you had the guts to enter. Congratulations! You are a winner.