The Pikes Peak Writers Conference happens every spring, but PPW also runs a contest, in association with the conference. The contest awards prizes in memory of Paul Gillette, and the deadlines for it are in the fall, because the judging for it takes time. Assuming nothing has changed, PPW allows entrants in many different genres. Contestants submit a beginning chunk (the length varies) and a synopsis. A panel of judges (usually other writers) rate the entries, and pick the top three in each genre. Then a celebrity judge (usually an editor or agent) reads those three finalists and ranks them as first place through third in that genre. First prize is a free PPWC membership. It does cost to enter, but the score sheets provide valuable feedback. If you pay extra, you can also get a full scale critique of your entry.
There are a lot of writing contests, but this one is well run (they have two judges per entry but if the scores are too far apart, they add a third judge and drop the lowest score). Also, the judging means if your entry is a finalist, an editor or agent will read it! Plus, even second and third win a small monetary prize, and all finalists receive a certificate at the conference banquet. Having a room full of people applauding you is a great feeling.
If you're interested, get ready. The contest will open in mid September. Keep an eye out, hone your synopsis, rework your opening (the submission chunk can be as short as five to ten pages), and be prepared to send in your entry!