If you're at all like me, when you see a bunch of people all saying the same thing your first response is "oh yea??" Nothing like a lot of one thing to make me wonder about the other side.
Of course, I'm referring to the contest I ranted about here and the firestorm this contest ignited around the blogosphere.
If you want to compare that contest to others, try this one at The Strand magazine. I picked it cause it was the second one I saw after posting about First One Publishing's contest. In other words, randomly.
And truthfully, you should develop your own standards for evaluating whether a contest is worth entering. Here are mine:
1. entry fee is less than the cost of a local one-day conference
2. Prize is something you can't purchase or obtain on your own.
That means if the prize is publication of your book, make sure it's more than what you can obtain from a quality POD service or publishing yourself.
3. You retain ownership of the work and you license only the rights the contest needs.
That means entering the contest or winning the contest does not require you to license translation rights or film rights or enhanced ebook rights to a company that can't exploit them for you.
4. The contest isn't brand new.
This is my personal preference, and it's my preference for a lot of things. I don't want to be first, I want to be second. I want someone else to find out if the wheels come off the roller coaster, or the contest company doesn't make good on the prizes.
5. The winners of previous contests are works I'd be proud to be compared to.
I've seen some contests where the winners were books I'd pay to keep from being associated with. This is a corollary of (4) because if there aren't previous winners, you don't know what the tastes (or competences) of the judges are.
6. Announced judges are people with reputable, verifiable track records whose opinions I respect. If Bernard T. Blowhard is the judge, I'm not sure I want to win.
Those are the ones on my list, and I use those criteria when I send contest notices to my clients.
If you've got additional criteria, I'll be glad to hear about them in the comments column of this post.