Read the application fully and carefully.
Consider the theme or any other clues related to the type of work that would be appropriate for your entry.
If there are size limitations for entries be certain to follow them.
Follow directions explicitly.
Complete the entire application.
Make copies of everything to keep for your records.
Make sure your entries are legible.
Have someone else proofread it.
Observe all deadlines. Post the application deadline on your calendar then add reminders indicating the number of weeks until the deadline.
Make sure your slides are as requested. Mounting type is often specified as well as labeling details.
Make the entry fee check out to the correct payee.
Consider preparing a cover letter introducing yourself and your work or a press pack with black and white photos for possible publication.