I thought about that one month idea. But here the idea from my perspective.
I don't think we would have any problems with 4-6 months for entry period. Just because I don't come to GPC as often as I once did doesn't mean I'm not fully engaged in caring for my piggies and working on my cage. I think building an awesome cage worthy of winning an award takes a lot of research and sometimes several configurations. We should reward those who inspire us to do a better job, even if they aren't active on the forums.
Very few of us get "right" on the first try, and most of us reconfigure cages to correct problems from our previous build. We add on, we fix ramps, we try to find a way to not only make it functional, but to also make it pretty. I think that we are all in the search of cage designs that we can look up too. Cages that inspire us to create a magnificent thing. We often give up and say, "that's good enough for now, until I can figure out how to make it better" I think having this competetion, would give us all impetus to push ourselves to finally fix that thing that's been bugging us. For me, it's the color of my coroplast, it's the way my upper cage attaches to my lower cage. It's the second cage quilt I need to sew for the upper level, it's adding wheels on the lower level to make it movable to vacuum under, it's coming up with a useful way to store things under it that looks good. Gosh, I could go on probably but those are projects that I still wanted to do, but can't get motivated because right now it works "fine" like it is.
I've also been thinking about non-GPC members. If someone comes in JUST to enter their cage I think we should honor that. Building a cage, taking pictures and posting them is a lot of work. Giving them to this site to share with us is also a gift, so I think they should be allowed to participate, even if they don't post on the forums. By building a CC cage, they are in effect furthering one of the goals of THIS particular site.
I joined GPC back in April when I got my first pig. Once I had researched and felt comfortable that I knew enough, I quit coming to the board. Right now, I'm only visiting a lot because I'm off work, and once I get to working again I will probably not be visiting often. Even when I visited before, I seldom posted. This doesn't mean that I'm not working on my cage and trying to improve on things. I think this is common on message boards, with new people coming in, spending a long time learning and then only returning when they have problems in the future. Sometimes people get tired of forums and just stop going because they get bored with the content.
The way I see it, a month isn't long enough to give new people a chance to get the materials together and come up with a "competitive" design.
Wait. Maybe I'm thinking of this wrong.
Maybe we could have a month to have entries post, but we could spend additional months announcing it, and promoting it so that cavy folks all over the internet could decide to upgrade existing cages so that they could enter. I don't want to encourage people to come up with designs that aren't functional or safe just to get entered.
What I don't like is catering to those who aren't serious enough about their pet ownership that they can't wait for a couple months for their cages to be judged, or ignoring those who may not be active on the board but are still "keeping on the good work" at home.