In my innocent days, I entered contests thinking I was at least fighting on a level battlefield. Over the years, I quickly learned that many contests ARE rigged.
The issue is - In-House- favoritism - IHS is what happens when editors seek stories by people they know, being unknown you may as well not enter.
The only story of mine that did was is Sea Ghosts - www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QERF2E/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4, a short story based on the life of a real Yorkshire pirate called John Adam.
Sea Ghosts came third many years ago in a contest run on Facebook.