We have put together some of the best illustration, photography and art competitions that are taking place this year. Most of the competitions are open to anyone. However, do check the terms and conditions before you start.


Photography on a postcard 2017

CLOSING DATE: Midnight (GMT) 15 July.

Official website


The Hepatitis C Trust have launched Photography on a Postcard, a brand new take on their hugely successful Art on a Postcard project and they are looking for upcoming talent to show alongside Martin Parr, Dougie Wallace, Edmund Clarke, Tom Hunter, Simon Norfolk, Chris Steele Perkins, Jenny Lewis, Homer Sykes, Eleanor McNair, David Hoffman and many many more well known and loved photographers! 

They are looking for fashion, fine art, reportage and street photography. The entries will be judged in August by acclaimed photographer Dougie Wallace and industry experts from Art on a Postcard & theprintspace. A shortlist of 200 images will be exhibited in October at theprintspace Gallery.The public will be able to purchase a ticket guaranteeing them a limited edition photograph, although they won’t know which photograph they have won until the show closes on 17 October. All the money raised will go to The Hepatitis C Trust’s campaign to eliminate hepatitis C from the UK by the year 2030. 

Enter here

Griffin Art Prize 2017

CLOSING DATE: 3 July, 2017

Official website


The Griffin Art Prize 2017 is an exhibition and studio award for emerging artists in painting and drawing supported by leading fine art brands; Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris.

New for 2017, the Griffin Art Prize will be offered to one outstanding UK based candidate at their location of choice. The winner will receive; a cash stipend of £5000, £2000 in studio rent, materials of choice from supporting brands Winsor & Newton and Liquitex to value £3000 and a showcase of new work to be held alongside the Griffin Art Prize 2018 shortlist exhibition in November at Griffin Gallery. The prize includes a professional support programme; three studio visits from the Griffin Gallery team and chief curator Becca Pelly-Fry, technical support from the Innovation and Development laboratory and a mentoring programme from an arts professional.

The judges will also select twenty artists for the long list of the Griffin Art Prize 2017 who will have their work showcased on their website. An exhibition of 10 short-listed artists will be held at Griffin Gallery in November. The winner of Griffin Art Prize 2017 will be selected by the judges from the shortlist exhibition and announced at the private view in Griffin Gallery, 1 November 2017.

Apply here

Past competitions

The Book Illustration Competition 2017

CLOSING DATE: 16 January, 2016 (before 9AM GMT)

Official website

This competition is a unique partnership between House of Illustration and The Folio Society that seeks to identify new talent in illustration, as well as promote them.

This annual competition is open to student and professional illustrators over the age of 18, who have not had work previously published by The Folio Society.

This year they are asking entrants to submit three illustrations and a binding design for Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. The winner will receive a highly sought-after commission, worth £5,000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in 2017. Five runners up will each receive £500 cash. Three of the six prizes are awarded to student entries.

The Book Illustration Competition was launched in 2011 and has received thousands of entries from over 44 countries. For more information on past competition winners go to the Previous Winners website.


V&A Illustration Awards 2017

CLOSING DATE: TBC January, 2017

Official website

There are three categories for published illustration - Book Cover, Book Illustration and Editorial Illustration (newspapers and magazines) - as well as the ‘Student Illustrator of the Year’ prize, for unpublished work.
The winner in each category receives £3,000 and a trophy. The judges will also select an Overall Winner to receive an additional £5,000 and the ‘Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year’ prize. The prize is named in memory of the late Moira Gemmill, the V&A’s former Director of Design, to reflect her significant contribution to, and tireless support of, the awards.
Winners must be prepared to lend some or all of their original artwork for the display.
The annual submissions now constitute an online archive of contemporary illustration styles. View previous winners of the V&A Illustration Awards.

The Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City

CLOSING DATE: 26 September, 2016

ELIGIBILITY: Open to illustrators and students of illustration throughout the world

FEE: The entry fee is $35 for the first five images and $10 for every additional image. 

Official website

The Association of Illustrators (AOI) in partnership with London Transport Museum (LTM), is delighted to announce that submissions are now open for 'The Prize for Illustration 2017'.

This year the theme is Sounds of the City - an illustrated interpretation of urban sound. We are surrounded 24/7 by sound in our cities. It shapes our experiences and our moods. Whether it’s the sound of people going about their daily lives – living, working, visiting or enjoying cultural, sporting or musical activities – or the sounds of nature within the city, the exhibition will show the artist’s relationship with sound, heard within the environment of a city context.

What to enter?

The aim of 'The Prize for Illustration 2017' competition is to attract artwork for display in an exhibition at London Transport Museum that is colourful, inspiring and celebrates the sounds heard in the hubbub and quiet spaces of the UK’s vibrant, diverse, multi-layered cities.

Prizes are awarded in three levels:

• First prize: £2000 and display of the winning image on a London Transport Museum poster to be displayed on the London Underground.
• Second prize: £1000
• Third prize: £750

There is also the possibility that shortlisted images will be featured on merchandise sold in London Transport Museum’s shop.

Show Your World 2016 International Art Competition

CLOSING DATE: 30 June, 2016

ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to everyone, 18 years and older, professional and amateur artists alike.

FEE: The entry fee is $35 for the first five images and $10 for every additional image. 

Official website

The re:artiste art organization announces the 2016 “Show Your World” International Art Competition, for artists of various media, worldwide.

“Show Your World” is about your vision of the world and life. Whether you are a professional artist or an amateur, your vision does matter! We live on a planet with a lot of diversity. Show the significant and the invisible, the urban and the remote, humanity or wildlife. The whole world is curious about your interpretation of it through the prism of your art. Show what matters to you!

Take your chance to exhibit your art in New York City. The Winner and 20 Finalists will display original work at the “Show Your World” exhibition at Gallery MC, New York. Artworks of all selected participants will be featured on a digital display during the show in Fall 2016.

The Winner and the Finalists will be featured on the re:artiste website, all social media accounts, newsletters and Press Release sent directly to the art related publications and channels.

In addition, the Winner is invited to stay in New York City for the Opening event of the Exhibition “Show Your World” — the accommodation is provided and paid by the re:artiste international art organization.

Artists from 43 countries took part in the first “Show Your World” international art competition, in 2015.

Renaissance Photography Prize 2016

CLOSING DATE: 14 June, 2016

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all

FEE: Single image entries cost £18 per entry and series entries, £55 per entry; Entries received and paid for before the 18 April 2016 23.59 GMT receive a 20% early bird discount.

Official website

Renaissance Photography Prize, the international photography competition which raises funds to support young women with breast cancer, is now accepting entries for 2016.

The Award is now in its 9th year and showcases outstanding photography from both emerging and established photographers, from any part of the world.

In 2016 a total of £4,000 will be awarded in cash, divided between several winners. A lot of non-monetary prizes are available as well.

Twelve (12) images in each category will be selected by the judges and exhibited at the Renaissance Photography Prize exhibition which will take place in London in September 2016.

The single image categories are: Earth, Private and Relation and the series category is Open and has no specific theme set.

Renaissance Photography Prize was founded in 2007 by Fiona Gifford following her diagnosis with breast cancer at the age of 34. Since then it has raised over £250,000 for the Lavender Trust at Breast Cancer Care.

The prize is now managed and curated by Monica Takvam with the help of a team of dedicated volunteers.

Derwent Art Prize 2016 

CLOSING DATE: 1 June, 2016

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all living British and international artists over the age of 18 years old on 1st June 2016.

Official website

The Derwent Art Prize aims to reward excellence by showcasing the very best artworks created in pencil by British and International artists.

Artists can submit 2D and 3D works created with any pencil or coloured pencil as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite or charcoal pencils.

An exhibition of the selected work will be on show at the Mall Galleries, London from 19-24 September 2016

£12,500 worth of prizes to be won!
First Prize - £6,000
Second Prize - £3,500
Third Prize - £1,000
2 x People’s Choice Awards - £750 each
Young Artist Award - £500

Works selected for exhibition may be offered for sale.

For full terms and conditions see here


dotART URBAN 2016 Photo Awards Contest

CLOSING DATE:  31 May, 2016

ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all 

FEE: The entry fee for the themed photos is 10 Euro for the first photo and 5 Euro for any additional photo submitted; Portfolios can be submitted for 30 Euro per project.

Official website

dotART, the Italian cultural association, is currently accepting entries in its URBAN 2016 Photo Awards and Exhibition, dedicated to street photography, nature, sports and free theme projects and portfolios.

Now in its seventh edition, URBAN has as its main theme set to daily life in the city, seen through street photography: real, instant images, that capture moments, people, faces and other elements capable of telling stories woven into the urban fabric, unveil the city and its secrets.

The total prize value of the contest is more than 4,000 Euro. Works selected by the jury of professional artists, photographers and communication experts will receive awards and will then appear in a collective exhibit in Trieste, Italy, during Trieste Photo Days 2016.

URBAN 2016 is open to all photographers and features two distinct sections, one for themes photos and one for Projects & Portfolios.

Every year, dotART receives thousand of pictures, from hundreds of participants worldwide. Just in 2015, it has hosted 28 exhibitions displaying about 600 pictures.

Joseph Binder Award 2016 – Graphic Design & Illustration Competition

CLOSING DATE: 17 April 2016

ELIGIBILITY: Designers and illustrators as well as students from around the world.

Official website

The biannual Joseph Binder Award competition is now open for entry for 2016 and invites all designers and illustrators around the world, including students, to participate with their best works.

The 2016 competition theme is “What is your dimension?” and works completed between 2014 and today are eligible for submission.

In November 2016, trophies and cash prizes will be awarded to the best works, which will also be published in a catalog and presented in an exhibition at designforum Wien.

The entries will be assessed by an international jury in fifteen categories:

  • Corporate Design,
  • Communication Design,
  • Information Design,
  • Type Design,
  • Poster Design,
  • Editorial Design/Books,
  • Editorial Design/Magazines,
  • Packaging Design,
  • Digital Media,
  • Book Illustration,
  • Media Illustration,
  • Commercial Illustration,
  • Digital Illustration,
  • Illustration in Miscellaneous Applications, and
  • Design Fiction

The Joseph Binder Award (JBA) is Austria’s only international competition for graphic design & illustration. Launched by designaustria in 1996, it is now being organised for the 13th time.

The Book Illustration Competition 2016

CLOSING DATE: 16 January, 2016 (before 9AM GMT)

Official website