Every year, for the last 4 or 5 years, I've entered my first 7 pages of my current work in progress into my local RWA chapter writing contest. And I have to say that every year the response back from those who judge the contest get better and better.
I'm more of a paranormal or science fiction romance writer, but a few nanowrimo's ago I finished a contemporary romance novel. I decided that I was going to submit the first 7 pages of the novel that 2 agents requested a full manuscript copy of last year at the Emerald City Writer's Conference, and the first 7 of my contemporary novel.
They limited the entries for each, and as of 7:13 pm on the last day (5/31) for entry only one category had met it's limit:
Contemporary -25 max entries -limit met
Historical -12 entries
Paranormal - 11 entries
Romantic Suspense - 21 entries
Fortunately I can submit my contemporary novel under romantic suspense, so I paid the $20 (non-RWA member fee) for each entry, and hope that I get awesome judge feedback!
If you're reading this on 5/31, you can still submit your entry! If you're not, there is always next year!
Contest entry is open from 4/1-5/31 each year. This is the first year the limited entries, so I don't know if next year will yield the same.
Keep an eye out for Conference information (this is an awesome event!) and contest information through Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America website, and subsequent links to media on through their page.