2017/2018 Free International Writing & Non-Writing Entry Contests

Updated on February 8, 2018
Writing | Source

There are many contests which are held annually by a variety of organizers. Some require you submit your essay online, send your submission through email or by postal mail. These contests range from free to enter contests to paid ones.

This article will provide you with up-to-date contests which have an international presence, that is, anyone from any corner of the world is more than welcomed to submit their work in various categories: essay, short story, novel, poem, photography, designing and audiovisual. Some of these contests limit the age of participants nevertheless they don’t limit the contests to specific areas.

The contests have been arranged according to their deadlines.

Please make sure you visit the website of the contest in question. This article has only provided an overview to each contest. There are rules you need to follow including technicalities especially in the designing, photography and video categories. Links have been provided in each contest which will direct you to the contest page.

Well, here we go:

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Monthly Deadlines

1. The Writing District Contest

This is a short story contest which is held every month.

Deadline: The last date of the month

Word count: 3,000

Theme: Open

Email submission: competition@thewritingdistrict.com

Prizes: $50 to the overall winner

Visit their website for more info: The Writing District


February Deadlines

1. Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2018

Another crisis we are facing as a world is Global Warming or Climate Change. You are invited to submit a short fiction in any genre which should not exceed 5000 words. They note in the website, “Climate change is so massive and sometimes so ineffable that we need all the tools of narrative to adequately understand it and share short stories and experiences about it.”

Deadline: February 28, 2018

Prize: $1,000 for the winning story and $50 for nine finalists.

Check out their website for more detail: ASU

2. ZEISS Photography Award 2018 ‘Seeing Beyond Untold Stories’

ZEISS and World Photography Organization are calling upon ambitious photographers to submit a series of photos. The photo series should tell a story that has never been told or a story that has not been told well. “The work could explain a familiar theme told from a different perspective or it could address an issue that has had previously little attention.”

They welcome any form of photography.

Deadline: February 6, 2018

Each entry should consist of a series of 5-10 images including a description of the images.

For more information do check their website: World Photography Organization

3. Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest

Biopage notes we are living in an era of social media whereby pictures and videos are the most uploaded and shared, little is spared for words which is the real language of communication. “We are in the age of social media. It is everywhere, around us, mostly pictures and videos.

Not enough words, sentences, paragraphs.

To communicate with clarity and depth, nothing is better than the real language, with words.”

This contest is aimed at reminding people the importance of words which are effective in communicating something with clarity. They are inviting you to submit anything about anything but you need to be economic with your words as the limit is 1,000 words.

Prizes: $1,000 for the winner and $200 for three runners up.

Deadline: February 28, 2018

They have provided some hints on what you can write about: “You can write about good life experience, or embarrassing, frightening experience. You can write about relationship, your boss, or a weird situation. You can write about your interest, tennis or golf or baseball, music or video or movie or games, and books! You can write about childhood, school life, college, and that job you love or hate. And traveling of course, you can write about your favorite city, and the best place for vacation.”

For more information check their website: Biopage

4.Student Video Contest 2018

Currently, the world stands at over 7 billion and as the years go by the population is expected to increase drastically. The huge world population creates a myriad of challenges of which the organizers of these contests are calling upon the students to offer some insight and solutions in some areas they have indicated.

They note, “We now live in a world of over 7 billion people and demographers expect us to reach 9 million by mid-century.

Human population growth exacerbates many of the innumerable challenges facing our global society.

Taking on these complex challenges and finding solutions will require understanding, cooperation and creativity.”

You are required to create a video which should not exceed one minute which should address any of the following topics which are challenges facing the world:

  • Advancing women and girls
  • Feeding 10 billion
  • Preventing pollution

They state, “All videos must include:

  1. How population growth impacts the issue
  2. At least one idea for a sustainable solution

Remember, you should narrow “your focus by concentrating on a subtheme within your topic.” They have provided some suggestions of the subthemes in each topic which can you base your video on.

Deadline: February 22, 2018

Check out their website here.


March Deadlines

1. World Youth Competition 2018

If you are a high school or university student, you are invited to participate in WYEC 2018 Essay contest. There is no limitation in which topics you should base your essays on.

They prefer you submit your essay in PDF format and the pages can range from one to eight. Special attention will be given to students who reside in the following countries: Nepal, India, South Africa, Germany, Thailand, Gambia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria, Liberia, Zambia, Indonesia, Morocco, France and Brazil.

The overall winner will be awarded with US$ 1,700 and invited to Germany whereby he/she will meet current international leaders and professionals. All expenses will be catered for.

The second and third winners will receive their respective prizes as "the award honors your extraordinary writing style and your creative mind. The 2. prize and 3. prize winners will also be featured in one of the world's most notable youth journals: you will be interviewed by journalists towards your motivation to inspire other youths and the world."

There will be consideration for the best ten submissions "for exceptional creativity, knowledge or language skills. You will receive the WYEC Award of Excellence to obtain encouragement and honor for your future achievements and professional career."

Deadline: March 31, 2018

Check their website for more information.

2. Regulations Videominute International Contest

This is a video competition known as Regulations XVII Videominute International Contest. It is a collaborated international contest organized by the Area of Culture of the Department of Culture and Social Affairs of Universidad de Zaragoza and CineMaremagnum. The purpose of the contest is to stimulate “creation in the domain of video-creation and animation.”

There is no age restriction and anyone is invited to create a video which lasts for a minute including credits. You can work individually or as a group and the theme is open. They accept both fiction and animation.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Prizes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize – €1,000, €700 and €400

For more information, visit their website: Universidad Zaragoza

3. Braun prize 2018 – Design for what matters

If you are a student or young person with a talent in designing, then you are invited to participate in this concept. As regards to this contest, Braun notes, “The Braun Prize 2018 challenges creative minds to envision design concepts that matter. Our world is becoming increasingly complex – our focus should be on what is essential, on creating truly better solutions and experiences. By taking on global problems or simply improving the quality of individual lives, we want to encourage innovation that can be virtual or physical, scientific or technical, or that changes our behavior for the better. Awards will go to exceptional ideas and product design concepts – 2 or 3 dimensional, including interactive – they offer progress and improvement, that are significant, substantial and meaningful: design for what matters.”

Deadline: March 20, 2018

Total prize: $75,000

Check their website, Braun Prize, for more information.


April Deadlines

1. We Are Water Film Festival

Another video creation contest, the We Art Water Foundation is inviting you to participate in this contest. Water is a very important component in our lives. However, a large percentage of the world is facing water crisis in terms of water shortage and lack of safe and clean water. In addition, lack of safe and clean water leads to sanitation problems. The foundation wants you to raise this awareness through audio-visual means.

They state the contest, “aims to recognize and reward the talent of those people with a clear awareness of the water problem in the world and who also know how to express it in their productions.

Its primary goal is to raise awareness of the water problem around the world by means of the creation of audiovisual pieces that address this issue.”

Deadline: April 3, 2018

Winners will be announced on June.

Theme: Water and Sanitation

Duration: 1-3 minutes

Genre: Fiction and Non-fiction

For more, check it here.

2. FIBA Photo Contest 2018

The International Basketball Foundation (IBF) is calling out for submission from photography and basketball enthusiasts to submit their best photos. The photos should be in line with the themes that have been provided which are:

  • Basketball is everywhere
  • Basketball a universal language

Deadline: April 30, 2018

“As a participant in the contest, you need to send to the IBF, your three best photos in link with the themes chosen by IBF. The 40 best photos selected by the jury will be exhibited temporarily in the FIBA world headquarters in Mies (Switzerland). The opening of the exhibition will take place on June 16th, 2018. The exhibition will end on October 30th, 2018.”

Check their website to ensure you submit your photos as per the organizer’s rules governing the contest of which some include: your format should be either JPEG/JPG, the size of the photos should be at the minimum of 20MB to a maximum of 20MB. Click here to learn more.

Prizes: The first, second and third winners will be awarded CHF 3,000, 2,000 and 1,000 respectively. The fourth selected winner up to the tenth winner will be awarded with products licensed by FIBA.

Announcement: June 17th, 2018

Writing | Source

June Deadlines

1. 2018 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

This competition welcomes young people from commonwealth countries or otherwise to participate in this year’s essay competition. The entrants should not be more than 18 years by June 1, 2018. Read the contest’s website to learn whether you are eligible to enter the contest depending in which region you reside.

The theme for this year is ‘Towards a Common Future.’ They have provided various topics in two categories: Senior and Junior. The topics are meant to “ask young writers to explore how the commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.”

In the Senior Category, the topics that have been provided are:

  1. The road to a safer future.
  2. How does education contribute to a fairer future?
  3. ‘Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Free’: is one more important than the others?
  4. Future generations have rights too, which must be defended. Discuss.

In the Junior Category, the topics are:

  1. What does a ‘safer future’ mean to you and your community?
  2. Write a recipe for a common future. What ingredients will you need? What is the best method for making it? What will it look like?
  3. ‘A Day in the Life.’ Imagine you and your country’s Head of Government for the day; how would you build a better future for young people?
  4. Our common Earth.

If you were born between June 2, 1999 and May 31, 2004 then you belong in the Senior Category which ranges from 14-18 years of age. The Junior Category consists of children under the age of 14 who were born after May 31, 2004.

“All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week-long series of educational and cultural events.

Check the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) for more information.

Deadline: June 1, 2018


July Deadlines

1. Poetry Nation Contest 2018

This is a poetry contest which doesn’t have limitations on the theme. You can write on any subject you want and you can employ a variety of poetic styles. Nonetheless, there are rules as regards to the format of your submission which you need to pay closer attention in order for your submission to be qualified to be judged by a panel of juries. Some of the things you need to notice are: “Any entry containing cliché, overused phrases will not be accepted; contest entries must be at least 3 but cannot exceed 26 lines (including stanza breaks) and cannot exceed 55 characters per line (including spaces between words). Any submission that exceeds these limits will be automatically disqualified. The poem title does not count as a line.”

Check their website, Poetry Nation, to ensure you follow their rules to avoid disqualification of your submission.

In terms of prizes: “Both contests (i.e. Poetry Nation holds two poetry contests per year from January 1 – June 30 and July 1 – December 31) award one first place prize of $2,000.00 and a first prize wall plaque ($100.00 value); twenty second place prizes of $100 each and a second place wall plaque ($750.00 value); one hundred third place wall plaque and $25 gift certificate redeemable towards any Poetry Nation or Ebber & Wein Publishing product ($75.00 value). Sixty to seventy percent of all entries become semi-finalists and receive a certificate of participation or framing.”

Remember, your contest will be judged “based on poetic technique, effectiveness, style, and creativity.”

Deadlines: June 30 and December 31

2. Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2018

The aim of this contest is to support new writers, that is, writers who have never published a book for the category the writer will participate. They note, “The prize was launched to support new writers, with no limits to age, gender, nationality or background. A winner will be chosen by our stellar line up of judges for each category: Fiction; Poetry; Life writing. The three winners will be published by Wasafiri and receive a cash prize. They will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentioning scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility). The prize winner will be announced on 25 October.

Deadline: July 13, 2018

For more information, click here.


August Deadlines

The Preservation Foundation Contests, 2018

The Preservation Foundation, a non-profit organization23 established in 1998 is an organization that seeks to help both fiction and non-fiction writers. Apart from accepting regular submission in the fiction and non-fiction genres, also they hold contests.

In the 2018 contest they are holding non-fiction contests in four categories: General nonfiction, Biography, Travel and Animals.

Prizes: The overall winners in each category will receive $200 with the runners up each receiving $100. The finalists in each contest will receive $50. In addition, the winners (overall winners, runners up and finalists) will each receive a certificate of recognition.

World length: 1,000-10,000 words.

Deadline: August 31, 2018

In the Biographical contest they note, “A biographical entry must be a true story of an individual(s) known to the author personally – not a factual or historical character. Autobiography, of course, must be the true story about the author’s life, the whole or an episode.”

In the General Nonfiction category they state “Any appropriate nonfiction topic is eligible. Stories must be true, not semi-fictional accounts.”

In The Travel Nonfiction contest they say, “Stories should be factual and true accounts of a trip taken by the author or a person or persons known by the author.”

Lastly, in the Nonfiction Animal contest they state, “Stories should be factual and true accounts of an encounter or encounters by the author with a wild animal or animals. These include, but are not limited to birds, fish, butterflies, snails, lions, bears, turtles, etc. As long as it is not your pet.”

To learn more including entry rules, visit their website at Story House.


2017 Fiction and Nonfiction Contests

The following is a list of last year (2017) fiction and non-fiction writing contests.

Essay Writing Contest III

Lifesaver Essays are inviting you to participate in their third essay contest.

Deadline: December 15, 2017

Prizes: 1st prize - $200

2nd prize – $100

3rd prize - $50

Weekly prizes - $10

Word count: 900-1,300

They have listed over twenty topics to base your essays on which include:

  1. Should the minimum wage for workers be raised in the U.S?
  2. Should the death penalty be outlawed throughout the U.S?
  3. Should the U.S continue using drone strikes against terrorists?
  4. Is the United States responsible for keeping peace around the world?
  5. How will the Trump administration affect international relationship?

Check their website for more information: Lifesaver Essays

The DWL Short Story Contest 2017

Genre: Open theme

Deadline: September 30, 2017

Word limit: 5,000 words

Prizes: 1st prize - $100

2nd prize - $100

3rd prize - $100

Email submission: info@desiwriterslounge.net

More info: DESI Writers’ Lounge

2018 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize

If you are a resident of a commonwealth country, you are invited to participate in this short story competition.

Deadline: November 1, 2017

Word count: 2,000-5,000

Theme: Open

Five winners will be selected from the five commonwealth regions. There will be the overall winner who will bag $5,000 while the rest four regional winners will be awarded $2,500 each.

More info: Commonwealth Foundation

Rewarded Essays Writing Contest

Are you a high school student? Would you like to be offered a scholarship? If the answer is yes, then this is your chance.

Rewarded Essays is inviting any high school student from any part of the world to participate in their essay competition.

Deadline: October 20, 2017

Word count: 700-900 words

Email submission: submission@rewardedessays.com

Your essays should be based on any of the following prompts or topic questions.

  1. What life skills can students master while in college? Which three are the most important and why?
  2. What do you see as the most pressing social issue we face? Why is it the most pressing?
  3. Who inspires you? Why?
  4. Provide three life goals you believe will be more achievable by obtaining your college degree.

For more information, click here.

Bubo Short Story Contest: Your World, Our Music

If your story was to be read live whether on a stage or radio, which musical sound would accompany it? Bubo Technologies is inviting you to send your piece of short story for this chance of a life-time.

They state, "At Bubo Technologies, we believe in the power of music to tell stories. Our first-of-its-kind technology brings ebooks and music together to make reading more immersive and personal experience."

Ensure you indicate which category or theme your story will fall under: Children or Adult literature.

Word count: 2000-4000 words

Email submission: writers@meetbubo.com

Deadline: November 15, 2017

"Winners will be published in an ebook with synchronized music and illustrations created specifically for the story."

For more info, visit their website: Bubo Technologies

SweekStars: Discovering the Star of Storytelling Competition

Sweek is looking out to find the most talented storytellers, the most active Sweekers among others in their biggest contest they have ever held.

A total of $4000 are up for grabs in different categories ranging from the grand prize winner who will pocket $1000 to the most active sweekers and so on.

They state, "Impress our juries and the readers with your writing skills and get a chance to be discovered as well as win great prizes..."

Deadline: November 30, 2017

Word Count: No Limit

Genres: No limit. It can include a combination of prose and poetry.

They accept the following languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Polish, Turkish, Hindi and Russian.

Be sure to check their website as their submission method is quite different from others. You can find more by clicking SweekStars.

Remember, "All the finalists will be given a badge of their story, be featured in the SweekStars 2017 edition (e-book and printed book)."

Quantum Short Flash Fiction Competition

QuantIc is inviting any national to participate in their 2017 contest. The stories should derive their inspiration from "quantum physics and include the phrase "There are only two possibilities: yes or no.""

Deadline: December 1, 2017

Word length: 1000

Prizes: A total of US $1,500

There are two categories in this competition: Open & Youth. The selected judges will choose winners and runner-ups in both categories. In addition, the public will vote for the best story in both categories from the shortlisted entries to be awarded People's Choice Prize.

The winners and shortlisted entries will receive various awards including a trophy, cash prizes and subscription to the digital magazine, ScientificAmerican.com.

For more information and submission process, check their website at Quantum Shorts.

Games Monjo Essay Contest

Games Monjo is inviting students ages 11-19 years to participate in this year's video games essay contest. College and university students are not eligible to enter this contest.

You are invited to write an essay on 'The Role of Video Games in My Life.'

Deadline: 30 November, 2017

Winners will be selected by December 13, 2017

Prizes: 1st winner will receive $500 plus publication

2nd winner will receive $300

3rd winner will receive $200

Send you entry as an attachment to essay-contest@gamesmojo.com in .doc, .dox or pdf format

For more info on this contest check their website at Games Mojo.


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