UK Specific Question:
How would I find out about magic competitions in the Lanceshire area, maybe spilling over to Yorkshire? I'm not a member of the Order of the Magi (and I'm still unsure whether I will be as yet) so I have little to no magic contacts offline.
Do competitions come certain flavours like close up, mentalism and cards, or do you have competitions that are open? I ask as my magic is steadily moving in the direction of a mix of weerd magic masquerading as psychology and Derren Brown style hypnosis - as such I haven't a clue where you'd pigeon hole me (not that I'm eager to find out of course, as I feel any label other than Psychic Magician or Psychic Entertainer, the two I've been toying with the most recently, could be misleading).
To find competitions, search for conventions in the area you are interested in competing at. Make sure and register early because sometimes the roster fills up quickly and if you wait until arrival to sign up, you may not make it.
Competitions are separated by category: Stage, and Close-up.
If you go to a huge international competition, the competitions will more than likely be more specific: Stage (Comedy, Mentalism, Illusion, etc) Close-up (Cards, Coins, Slieghts, etc).
The judges weren't being jerks out of meaness, they were just trying to tell you what your friends and family won't (the truth). They gave you an honest opinion about your performance...they did this to give you the information you need in order to improve yourself for the better. You can take the criticism and use it to your advantage, or be a child and call the judges ignorant A-holes, and not imrove any. You choose.