Is there really such a thing? Probably not, but as writers, we strive to come as close as possible to the thing. A few months ago, I entered a partial manuscript in the Genesis Contest and was really bummed when I didn't even final. Now, after reading the comments from the judges, I realize they were right. I have taken their critiques and revised and edited and learned much. And guess what? I have a MUCH better story in the works. Contests can be really great if you get a good judge...and extremely disheartening if you don't have thick skin.
The fact that I finaled in the Touched By Love Contest was amazing and uplifting and cause for celebration. And pretty weird since I entered exactly the same thing as the Genesis. Atlanta is coming up this month and I'm going. I don't expect to win--would love to, but don't expect to--and I know it's going to be a great experience. I just wish they had their hands on the manuscript that's been edited and reworked several times over. But that's the world of contests and writing. Usually by the time the contest is over, your current manuscript in no way even resembles your original entry...ah, the joys of revision.