This will help you clarify why you enter an A&S competition, and what you will get out of entering.

You do not enter an A&S competition with the goal that the Laurels will look at your work, faint in wonder at how incredible it is, and demand to the Crown that you get inducted as a Laurel immediately, if not sooner. Sorry, that isn’t going to happen. For many reasons, including the fact that no matter how wonderful your work is, there are many other factors besides skill in art/science/research/craft that go into becoming a laurel. It is very important to realize this, and not have unrealistic expectations.

You enter for the following reasons:

  1. To get constructive feedback on your work, to help you do it better next time..
  2. To teach other about your project e.g., you just finished a project reconstructing period aardvarks, and you want people to know all about how aardvarks were made in period.
  3. To have people go oooh and aaaah at your work. (There is nothing wrong with wanting praise/positive feedback it just should be the 3rd reason why you do it, and you shouldn’t expect anything tangible from it).
  4. To help you find other people who do your art/science/craft, to share knowledge/techniques/information/etc with.
  5. To inspire other people to go out and do likewise.
  6. The fun of winning the competition. Hey, winning is fun, no reason to deny it! But, that should be the least important reason.

This means that anyone can and should enter you don’t have to be an expert, nor do you have to have any real possibility of winning. You can learn a lot and teach others, by entering even if you don’t even come close to winning..

Keeping this in mind will help you next time you enter. For entering is fun and useful, not only for you, but for the populace in general. We all learn, the person who enters, the judges and the people who come and look at the entries from an A&S competition.

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