But with contests, like anything in the writing world, you need to wear thick skin. Sometimes comments can sting, even from complete strangers. As writers we need to keep an open mind and accept criticism. It's the only way to get better. Well, that, a lot of practice and gallons of ice cream.
So long as you can take the negative comments along with the positive, contests are a GREAT morale booster. Even if one person flat out tells you your writing sucks, ten other people will tell you what they like and what you could improve.
I know a lot of people don't enter contests because they're hesitant to have strangers reading their work. After all, anyone could steal it! But I think most writers are good people and 250 words or less isn't enough of a glimpse into your awesome plot--you won't even get to the space monkeys. So go ahead and put yourself out there!
And if not that's okay too.
I may or may not have a follow up post to this in a few weeks. We shall see!