Why would anyone enter an artistic contest?
1.) Cash. I was paid a $1000 for a story a few years ago, in a contest. (This will never happen again, I assure you.) That was the best month of beer I’d had in a really long while.
2.) Job. I am in a tenure-track line as a professor. My university loves rankings and any type of award. They gobble this stuff up. So I enter a few lit contests every year and throw the results on my university Promotion and Tenure document. I sure do.
3.) It helps magazines I enjoy. I usually get a subscription with my fee, and the magazine certainly gets my cash. I’m not sending money to any organization I don’t already read.