award for writing can be a big thing for a writer. Big because writing on the whole can be a thankless, lonely way to spend a large chunk of a life.
Awards are validating: they say Well done! A writer has the pleasure of knowing someone who knows about writing has read the entry and valued it. Someone has weighed it and measured it against some stiff competition. And it has succeeded.
There is another way awards add merit to writers' work. If placed well in evidence, details of awards can work to earn the writer credibility. Placed on a CV, in a signature line on emails, as part of the credits on book trailers, or in the biblio-biography on a writer's site, awards are testimonials of work done... work done very well, in fact. Such details speak volumes: they tell editors, agents and publishers that the writer has fulfilled criteria that matter. These might seem like obvious things, but they carry weight in the publishing industry: understanding rules, keeping to a deadline, submitting correctly, writing to a theme, composing creatively for a particular audience, sticking to a defined length... and doing all this better than other entrants.
All writers know how hard it can be to interest anyone in their work. After one has exhausted family and friends, finding anyone willing to read what you write is not easy. Submitting a piece of writing to a competition guarantees a willing eager audience - at least for that piece of carefully prepared writing. This ought to be great incentive to writers working in isolation.Someone will welcome your entry and give it all their attention.
I have a list of awards I have won on my website. They are evidence of hard work, writing skills ... and that I am at heart a very competitive creature!
There are many contests open to writers: googling the words 'writing contests' brings up literally thousands of results. Writers can make their own list of possible contests to enter. A word of caution is necessary here: there are a number of scams running, so it is useful to check the credentials of any site running a contest to see whether it has been tested and found to be sound by experienced writers, or whether anything has been found to be suspect about the people running the award. After that, setting oneself a goal and looking forward to hearing the results can only be exciting and motivating.
At the beginning of a writing career, especially, entering competitions can mean the difference between achieving status and being able to use it to advantage, or remaining an unknown quantity. Although it can be hard work, submitting entries to writing competitions can be seen as an important part of a writer's discipline and a great way to add to a portfolio of writing. Winning can bring kudos: sometimes a monetary prize is awarded, or an offer of publication made.
Awards are definitely something writers can say testify to the quality of their writing.