Well, if my sole goal was to improve my chances of winning, I'd darn sure not encourage others to enter.
As much as I'd be thrilled to win or place, that little voice in the back of my head tells me that it's far more important to encourage others to do their best and to jump in.
I remember reading in a kite magazine some years ago, about a guy who entered a kite making contest in San Francisco. After putting a lot of work into his kite, he showed up on the day of the contest to find that his kite was unstable, and wouldn't stay upright. In frustration, he tried tying a crescent wrench to the tail.
A voice behind him chuckled, "You know that's not going to work."
He turned to see Leland Toy, one of the Bay area's most gifted kite makers and artists, and a fellow entrant in the contest.
Leland stepped up and offered to help the guy with his kite.
"But, you're in the contest," the guy objected.
"It doesn't matter," Leland said. "I just want to see your kite fly."
That's what I think about in this contest.
I just want to see your novels fly, even if they fly better than mine.