Perhaps I am the biggest sucker of all for entering so many fiction and creative nonfiction contests, where they send back an announcement of the winners (never you) in your own self-addressed stamped envelope. However, let it be known that I do write off the expense on my taxes every year, to the tune of all those $20 contests fees, doubling as payment for a subscription. I write them off against all the money I've earned from my creative writing in a given year, which usually adds up to about a buck three-eighty, except for years when I win grants or awards (upwards of $25K once).
I don't know; sometimes I find these little contests quaint and comforting. They remind me that I'm still alive as a writer.