Submissions through August 30 have been added to the Contest Gallery.
The gallery randomly orders the images, so newer entries will not necessarily be after older entries.
Acceptance means the image was successfully submitted and has entered the approval process. That email is auto generated.
Approved means the contest owners have viewed the submission and approved it. Generally, if there is a problem with your submission, you will be notified by the contest owner by email fairly quickly. From the Submission page, you can check the status of your submission (My Submissions under your name). If it doesn't say rejected, you're good.
As a rule, I prefer to wait until the image has been approved. Especially, when there is criteria like with this contest that the submission have specific content. I'd rather not upload a submission and then have to pull it because it didn't meet the criteria. I also give people a few days or so to withdraw their submissions in case they realize they need to make changes or they submitted a duplicate. When an entry is withdrawn and replaced, it has to be removed from the gallery. Comments are not transferred from the withdrawn entry to the replacement. That may or may not be important to the artist.
The entries have to first be downloaded one at a time before they can be uploaded. Would be cool if we could just transfer the entry from the submissions database to the gallery database. But, that would be way too easy :wink:
When an entry is downloaded, it is saved with a new name composed of the submitted name and the artist's nickname. Any characters that prevent the file from being saved also need to be removed. The submission form has no problem with characters that will prevent that file from being saved. Once downloaded, the image has to be processed so they don't exceed the file size. Once processed, the new image is uploaded to the appropriate gallery. Fortunately, that can now be done in bulk. With the last gallery software, each image had to be uploaded one at a time. I also document all this in a spreadsheet. Consequently, I tend to wait till the weekend and do a batch at a time.