There is a cool monthly competition on the www.core77.com forum boards. It is a monthly design competition called "1 Hour Design Challenge" or "1HDC". I have followed it for a long time but for some reason never entered. It is pretty straight forward you have to design something in a hour based on the criteria and design breif then upload it. You win recognition and a post on core77 which is good for getting you name and work out there. I think I will enter every month from here on out.
The design challenge for this month is "Winter is Coming" based on the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. Here is the link to the description of this months design brief and the submitted work:
Below is what I submitted.