Read the Terms and Conditions
Make sure you and your artwork are eligible to enter the art competition. Read through a couple of times and make sure everything such as when the artwork was made, the medium you use, size of the artwork with or without frame, age and where you live are all met.
Fill out the paperwork accurately and make a copy
If you are entering lots of competitions you need to make sure you fill out the name of your work, the dimensions, and any other details, and take a photo copy and keep it for future reference. You may end up being able to enter the artwork in another competition in the future
Mark key dates on your calendar
Mark the date you have to have the entry form in, the drop off time and date, opening night, exhibition dates, and pick up time and date.
Be happy with the copyright intentions
Read the terms and conditions and make sure you are happy with what the organizers are going to do your your artwork and any future reproductions of it.
Be true to yourself
You may know who the judges are and think it might be a good idea to lean towards their perceived preferences of subject matter or whatever, however I always think the best way is to be YOU. Your artwork needs to reflect who and what you are about. In the long run you want to win an art competition for your own uniqueness.
Go to the Opening night
If there is an exhibition run in conjunction with the art competition and you are able to get to the opening night this is a great way of learning more about the competition you are entering and meeting other artists, and even the judges in some cases. You can then work out if you want to give it another go in the future.
Don’t give up!
Keep on trying. Art competitions and who wins is very subjective and not to be taken personally. Not everyone is going to like your art, and the ones that do will be happy to judge it as a winner, or purchase for their own private collection.