2018 Free International Writing & Non-Writing Entry Contests

Updated on April 7, 2018
Writing | Source

If you are searching for free entry writing contests that accept writers from all over the world, then you have landed in the right place. This article will provide you with updated list of contests in various categories: photography, video creation, designing, essays, poems and fiction (short stories, flash fiction and novels).

Ensure you read the rules for each contest to ensure your submission will not be rejected. A link to each contest has been provided which will direct you to the contest's page whereby you will find that contest's guidelines.

Best of luck!

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Monthly Deadline

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

2. Micro Sweek Flash Fiction Contest

This is a monthly contest whereby you are required to submit your flash fiction which should be less than 250 words. Each month has its own theme thereby you should check every month to ensure your submission aligns with the theme of the contest of that particular month.

Prize: $50 for the overall winner

Deadline: The 22nd day of every month

In addition, there is a prize of $15 for the best feedback.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the general rules they have outlined in their blog,Sweek Blog, in order to ensure your entry adheres to the rules they have stipulated.

Click here to find out Sweek's flash fiction contest theme for every month.


April Deadline

1. We Are Water Film Festival

Water is a very important component in our lives. It has many uses and lack of it affects the different aspects of our lives in diverse ways. A number of studies indicate 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 We Are Water 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 information, 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 of winners: June 17th, 2018


May Deadline

1. Remastered Words

Remastered Words are inviting any individual to submit their best short stories for a chance to win cash prizes. The best selected stories will be converted into audio. If your story is selected, you agree to hand them the audio rights while you're are free to submit your written story to another publication.

Multiple, simultaneous and reprints are accepted. “Unfortunately if your story has been already adapted into audio then you cannot to this market.”

As concerning the audio rights, they state: “ Simultaneous submissions are allowed and we are only interested in the audio rights of your story, all other rights are returned by the author, including the written rights, so if you want to submit your story elsewhere then please do do (however be mindful of the guidelines laid out by the other avenues).”

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Prizes: 1st - £72, 2nd - £50, 3rd - £25

Announcement of winners: August, 2018

Check their website, Remastered Words, to learn more.


June Deadline

1. 2018 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

This competition welcomes young people from commonwealth countries 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's contest is ‘Towards a Common Future.’ They have provided various topics you should base your essay on. 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.”

The contest has two categories: Senior and Junior. 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

2. International Essay Contest for Young Peoples

Organized on behalf of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GHP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), this contest is inviting youths to write an essay on the change they would make in their society or the world at large?

The Goi Peace Foundation states on its contest page, “This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world’s youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

The theme of the contest is: The Change I Want to Make

“What is the one thing you would like to change the most to make your school, workplace, community, country or the world a better place? How would you bring about the change? Please share your concrete ideas.”

The contest is divided into two categories: children and youth. If you’re above 25 years you’re disqualified from participating in the contest.

Excluding the cover page and title of the essay, the essay should not exceed 700 words. The essays may be submitted in English, Spanish or Germany. Submissions in Japanese language should not exceed 1600 characters.

Additionally, “Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group. Please enclose a list of participants’ names, ages and the name and contact information of the submitting teacher or director.”

There are three prizes to be won in both categories which include cash and award of certificates.

“1st prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony to be held in Tokyo, Japan on November 23, 2018 and will receive the Minister of Education Award. (Travel expenses will be covered by the organizer).”

Deadline: June 15, 2018
For more information check their website, Goi Peace Foundation.

3. Essay Writing Contest for High School and College Students

iWriteEssays, an online essay writing service company, is inviting all high school and college students to participate in their 2018 students’ essay contest.

The theme of this year’s contest is: Are essay writing services like iWriteEssays.com ethical or not?

Pertaining to the essay, iWriteEssays says, “The objective of this year’s essay writing contest is to create awareness and debate about essay writing websites like iWriteEssays.

Deadline: June 20, 2018

Announcement of winners: June 25, 2018

There are three prizes to be won: first place, $200; second place, $75; third place, $50.

Your essay submission should follow the 5-paragraph essay format and should adhere to MLA citation guidelines.

Length: 700-850 words

Ensure you “include a picture of your school ID or use the school assigned email address.” This is required so that they can verify whether indeed you’re a student.

For more information including rules you should adhere and submission process, check it here.

4. Bed Bug Awareness Week 2018 Writing Contest for Teens

They are a nuisance. Some of us have been trying for many years to eradicate them from our households but to no avail. Of course, there are those who have been lucky in getting rid of bed bugs. Well, this competition aims to find out whether it is possible to get rid of them. Or, are we doomed to live with them?

If you are a student between the age of 13 and 18, you're dearly invited to participate in this contest whereby you're required to submit an interview piece in either the Text Category or Video Category. The interview should align with the theme of the contest which is: Are we capable of winning the battle against bedbug or we will be forced to live them!

If you want to participate in the Text category, the length of your entry should be between 600-1,000 words. In the Video category, the length of your entry should be a maximum of 5 minutes.The organizer of the contest, Get Rid of Pests, states, "Competitions will be in written or interview format. The participant can enter any one of them, or both with similar materials, delivered for a different medium."


Text Category: 1st Winner - $100, 2nd Winner - $50, 3rd Winner - $50

Video Category: 1st Winner - $200, 2nd Winner - $100, 3rd Winner - $100


Interview deadline: 01.06.2018

Video Interview deadline: 01.10.2018

The following is what is required of you:

  1. Research as much as you can about the social and economic consequences of bedbugs from reputable sources.
  2. Think about what you just learned.
  3. Interview someone you know and transcribe the conversation (write out the questions and answers.
  4. Submit your transcript.
  5. You could make a video from your interview and participate with the same or similar materials again.

Remember, "Your primary focus should be to investigate how the community reacts to bedbug epidemic and what are the social and economic consequences.:

For more information including how to submit your entry, visit their website at Get Rid of Pests.

The organizer has posted two videos in YouTube as pertaining to this contest: 31 questions Writing Contest for Teens Bed Bug Awareness Week 2018 and Writing Contest for Teens (Publication & Cash) 2018.

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July Deadline

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 adhere to. 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 in this contest. 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 Deadline

The Preservation Foundation Contest, 2018

The Preservation Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1998 is an organization that seeks to help both fiction and non-fiction writers. They not only hold contests on a continuous basis, but also accept regular submissions in the fiction and non-fiction genres.

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.


Previous Contests (Jan-Mar 2018)

February Deadline

1. Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2018

Global Warming or Climate Change is a crisis the world is trying to find ways of dealing with it. 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.

5. The Independent Photographer

The aim of Independent Photographer is to showcase or expose the works of photographers from all over the world.

They hold monthly contests on photography but each month contains a different theme.

The theme for February contest is STREET. As regards to this theme they state, “Street photography has been one of the most exciting and influential form of photography since the creation.

From candid and unexpected street situations to meticulous geometric scenes within the urban sphere: We are in the lookout for photographers finding those spontaneous and fleeting moments.

Whether the subject is your own urban environment or as you explore other territories and cultures.

Street photography can take many forms: Show us YOUR streets!

Enter the street photography competition in February and win $1500 cash.”

Deadline: February 28, 2018

For more information check out their website: Independent Photographer

March Deadline

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.

4. Threshold International Short Fiction Writing Competition

This contest requires you to write a feature article on any of the two categories they have indicated in their website, that is, Author Profile and We Recommend.

“Author Profile: exploring the life, writings and influence of a single short story writer.

We Recommend: personal recommendations of a collection, an anthology, a group of short stories or a single short story.”

Deadline: March 18, 2018

Prizes: £500 and £100 for two runners-up

Check their website, Threshold International, for more information.


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