We have put together some of the best illustration and art competitions that are taking place this year. Most of the competitions are open to anyone. 

Win the Ultimate Solo Show

CLOSING DATE: 21 Oct, 2018 

Official website


Creativehub launch their biggest competition of the year with the goal to discover the very best unexhibited artwork and give it its debut solo show!

Open to artists of any genre and at any career stage, one winner will receive the ultimate prize package to help springboard their career!

Communication Arts
Illustration Competition 2019

CLOSING DATE: 11 Jan, 2019 

Official website


Enter the most prestigious competition for creativity in illustration, the Communication Arts Illustration Competition. Any illustration first published or produced from January 2018 through January 2019 is eligible. Selected by a nationally representative jury of distinguished designers, art directors and illustrators, the winning entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual, in print and digital editions, and on commarts.com, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work. As a service to art directors, designers and art buyers, a comprehensive index will carry contact information of the illustrators represented.

Each winning entrant will receive a personalized Award of Excellence, milled from solid aluminum, and award certificates issued for firms, individuals and clients.

CA’s Award of Excellence is one of the most-coveted awards in the industry. If chosen, winning places you in the highest ranks of your profession.

Find out more here.

Key Colours Awards 2018 (Children's books)

CLOSING DATE: 16 July, 2018 

Official website

Clavis Publishing and the city of Hasselt launch the 12th edition of Key Colours, the two-yearly international contest for illustrators of children’s books. Only a children’s book, intended for children from 2 to 7 years old, can qualify for the award. A professional jury will judge the artistic, literary and child-oriented qualities of the works.

The winner receives 7,500 euro and the winning work will be published by Clavis Publishing.

From all entries, a selection will be made for a children’s books exhibition in Hasselt. At the exhibition children will award their favourite illustration with the Children’s Award. 

Apart from the winner, other entries may also be considered for publication by Clavis. The award and the resulting picture books will be largely discussed in the press and at book fairs abroad. For many illustrators this unique award is the start of a successful international career.

You can choose one of the following formats:
• 250 x 260 mm
• 290 x 210 mm (portrait or landscape)
• 235 x 325 mm

Each illustrator may participate in the contest, notwithstanding nationality, language or experience. Participation of groups is allowed as well. The original drawings should be full size, with a bleed of 5 mm.

There is no entry fee.
Open to illustrators from all over the world.

The Lauren Child Poetry Illustration Prize 2018

CLOSING DATE: Fri 01 June 2018 (9am GMT)

Official website

The Lauren Child Poetry illustration prize 2018.png

In partnership with the House of Illustration and the Betjeman Poetry Prize,
Lauren Child, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2017-2019, announces an international illustration competition.

  • An international illustration prize for illustrators aged 18- 25 years

  • Illustrate a poem by a Betjeman Poetry Prize finalist

  • £1000 first prize, plus prizes for commended illustrators

  • Top 12 illustrators will be commissioned to create further work to be exhibited at St Pancras International station, London, in September 2018

  • Judges: Lauren Child, award-winning author and illustrator; director of the House of Illustration Colin McKenzie and Imtiaz Dharker, Queen's Gold Medal winning poet and artist

  • Competition opens February 1st 2018 and closes 9am GMT on Friday June 1st 2018

  • Click here to find out how to enter.

Derwent Art Prize 2018

CLOSING DATE: Tue 8 May 2018 (5pm GMT)

Official website

Derwent, internationally renowned fine art brand, are proud to announce that the fourth instalment of the Derwent Art Prize is now open for entries.

The Derwent Art Prize was conceived in 2012 and aims to reward excellence by showcasing the very best artworks created in pencil by British and International artists.

From the submitted artworks, approximately eighty will be selected for display at the Mall Galleries in central London. Alongside the chosen artworks being hung in a public display, prizes totalling over £12,500 will be awarded in an awards ceremony on the opening night of the exhibition.

Since the Derwent Art Prize began, the competition has attracted more than 7000 entries from over 67 countries worldwide.

Derwent are excited to see both domestic and international entries for this Derwent Art Prize.


Selected works will be on display at the prestigious Mall Galleries in central London from 18th – 23rd September 2018.

The exhibition will then tour to a number of venues throughout the UK.  Full details will be announced shortly. The work selected for exhibition must be available until 31st January 2019. All artists selected for exhibition will be invited to the Private View and Prize Giving on Tuesday 18th September 2018.


A total prize fund of £12,500 will be awarded at the Private View at Mall Galleries, London in 2018.  Prizes are as follows:

  • First Prize £6,000

  • Second Prize £3,000

  • Third Prize £1,500

  • People’s Choice Award – Exhibition £750

  • Young Artist Award – For artists under 25 years £750

  • Coloured Pencil Award for Excellence – £500

Enter here

That's a mole! International illustration competition 2018

CLOSING DATE: 28 April, 2018 

Official website

Since the 12th of March 2018 it will be possible to participate in the 5th edition of That’s a Mole!, the International Illustration Contest, designed to promote the most innovative and creative visual interpretations of the city of Turin’s symbol: the Mole Antonelliana.

That’s a Mole! contest is a creation of That’s a Mole Association and is promoted and supported by Fondazione Contrada Torino Onlus and Fondazione Casa di Carità Arti e Mestieri. 

The contest is open to everybody, with no age limit, and it is possible to participate individually or collectively. Participants are requested to create an illustration, a graphic interpretation or a decorative pattern inside the shape of the Mole Antonelliana monument.

A qualified jury will select 29 proposals, which will be exhibited in front of Mole Antonelliana (Via Montebello, Turin) from June to September 2018. 
Among these there will be:

  • The winning proposal of the contest that will be awarded a prize of €1,000

  • €250 'Social communication' Special Prize awarded by Casa di Carità Arti e Mestieri, in the context of the project “In Pro.va - Probation valida alternativa: sanzioni di comunità oltre il carcere”

  • €250 'Fermitutti' Special Prize awarded by the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Section of Turin, in the context of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of NASA’s satellite Fermi

  • Special Mentions awarded by supporters and institutions.

Among the 29 selected proposals, 2 will be drawn from the ‘Educational section’, constituted by works submitted by authors younger than 18 years of age and/or authors from socio-pedagogical realities (e.g. kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, education centers, didactic laboratories for minors and people with disabilities).

The participation fee, regardless the number of submitted proposals (maximum 3)
will be €10 but for the 'Educational section', which is free.

Deadline for applications: 28 April 2018
For more information write to info@thatsamole.com

The Book Illustration Competition 2018

CLOSING DATE: 17 January, 2018 (before 9AM GMT)

Official website

The Book Illustration Competition 2018 is now open for entries. 

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

Each year entrants are asked to submit three illustrations and a binding design for a book chosen by The Folio Society. The winner receives a highly sought-after commission, worth £5,000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which is then published by The Folio Society. Five runners each receive £500 cash.

This year we are asking entrants to submit three illustrations and a binding design for The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. The new edition, featuring illustrations by the winner, will be published by The Folio Society as part of its Christmas 2018 campaign.

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. Copies of the books illustrated by previous winners are available to purchase from The Folio Society.

The deadline is Wednesday 17 January 2018.

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

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: 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