A site still under construction assigned to a pupil at a girls' school in north London recently won a prize in a computers and writing competition sponsored by US publishing comany McGraw-Hill. Anyone visiting the Writing Room on the winning site (obscurely hosted by servers at Reading University), learns that "the Writing Room is being refurbished". In other words, it has yet to materialise.
To gauge the value of competitions promoted largely online, teachers should first check previous winning entries. For competitions in their first year, evaluating sponsors, or asking colleagues' advice, are worthwhile safety checks.