We propose a novel scheme for the preparation of a maximally entangled state of two atoms in an optical cavity. Starting from an arbitrary initial state, a singlet state is prepared as the unique fixed point of a dissipative quantum dynamical process. In our scheme, cavity decay is no longer undesirable, but plays an integral part in the dynamics. As a result, we get a qualitative improvement in the scaling of the fidelity with the cavity parameters. Our analysis indicates that dissipative state preparation is more than just a new conceptual approach, but can allow for significant improvement as compared to preparation protocols based on coherent unitary dynamics.