I was an advertising major in college and that entire curriculum was basically set up like a writing competition. In fact, in the Senior and Junior Classes- you were placed into groups of about 8 fellow students and your final grades for the course were heavily loaded with how your group participated as an "agency". They would only give out so many A's, B's, C's, D's... etc... -- this meant that you had to play full out to even pass. Your grade within your group was based on how others perceived your contribution to the group and how you got along with others.
Along with the basic grading for the course, we were required to also compete in major National Advertising Competitions such as the Phillip Morris Advertising Competition and a number of other competitions. I was the art director for the winning team in the Phillip Morris Competition and the Nissan Competitions. Although I helped with the writing of our advertising spots, my main contribution to these 2 competitions was in rendering the artwork that went to these competitions.
Later, I had my own advertising agency and created a series of ad campaigns that ran in the local Addy Awards. These were heavily based on writing, film production, the whole kit and caboodle. I did very well in this competition and won an Addy Award for my campaigns and campaign concepts.
My graduate courses at Parson's Design School/Bank Street College NYC were a writing competition of sorts. They only took 12 people the year that I went through this program. The way that we wrote our biography (artists bio) was the most heavily weighed part (other than your previous GPA). The people who wrote the most entertaining and inspiring bios were the ones that were accepted into the program.
More recently, I started writing restaurant and business reviews for a local area internet site that features national reviews in a number of cities in the USA and the UK. They created a reward system for writers to win "the Review of the Day"... and I won 4 of these over a 2 1/2 year period. That was a great way to honor a number of different writers.