The Romance Writers of Australia run a full-on competition season with contests for published and unpublished authors, in all styles of romance.
Now that I've finished my novel, I've been busy editing it - it's as time-consuming as writing the thing in the first place! I have a couple of wonderful critique partners who give me advice and feedback as I go, but competitions are a great way to get your work out there anonymously for feedback.
So far this year I've entered an American contest - the Emily (first 3,000 words), and the STALI (Single Title and Loving It) for the first 5,000 words. I haven't had word back about the Emily yet - to be honest, I'm not expecting much because my story is quite Australian, but I thought I'd put it out there and see how it did. A couple of days ago I got my results for the STALI and while I didn't come close to finalling, I got some great feedback - and a wonderful comment that I'll look back on whenever I doubt my writing!
I've just held my breath and sent off the first 10,000 words for the next contest - the Emerald. If I'm lucky enough to get through to the 2nd round of it, I'd have to send my full manuscript in, so I'm now very busy head-down, tail-up trying to get the rest of it edited by mid-Jan. Even if I don't get through to the 2nd round, having a deadline will make me get it edited anyway :)
Do you need a deadline to get things done? Or are you an internally-motivated person?