Emerging Artists Contest

The Dream Foundry Contest for Emerging Artists is an annual no submission fees contest with cash prizes! Every year our contest coordinator selects ten finalists from a pool of submissions from artists around the world. Then our pair of judges choose three winners. In addition to their cash prizes, winners get featured at Flights of Foundry, an annual convention where professionals from all over the industry come to discuss all things related to the speculative arts.

You can see a list of past finalists and winners on our Winners Page.

First Place, Monu Bose Prize for Art: $1000

Second Place: $500

Third Place: $200

Submissions are open from 17 April, 2023 through 18 June, 2023. That includes all time zones.


This contest is for artists who are relatively new to paid illustration work for speculative publications in English. To be eligible for this contest, all the following rules must apply to you:

  • You are starting out as a speculative artist—someone who paints or illustrates anything that falls within the Fantasy or Science Fiction spectrum—, and you never had any professional art-related gig. If payment was only a token amount by professional rates in US markets, it does not count as a disqualifying gig. If you’re unsure if your experience counts as beginner or professional, send it to us and we’ll judge.
  • You have never been nominated for any speculative fiction awards for art (Hugos, Locus, World Fantasy Awards, Igynite, etc), including fan categories.
  • You are not a previous winner of the Dream Foundry art contest (previous finalists can submit again).
  • You don’t use any AI program like MidJourney or others to generate art.

Please note that we are trusting you to be honest regarding your own eligibility. We may disqualify any entry that does not uphold the spirit of this contest’s goals, or disrespects its guidelines; such determinations are decided by the Dream Foundry and are not open to debate.

Submission Guidelines

Submit one .pdf with at least three finished artworks, but no more than five. Those illustrations don’t need to be exclusive for the contest, and they can have been previously posted on the internet. Please include a title for each of the works, and specify which media you used (e.g. watercolors, mixed media, digital art, etc). If you have an online portfolio or any social media link with your art, please link those in the form.

All entries are final. No revisions are accepted.
No multiple submissions (do not send more than one .pdf portfolio.)
No AI generated/DALLE/MidJourney images, under any circumstances.
Entries can be from any country.
All entries must be original artwork (no fanarts). Illustration/painting work only (no collages, photo manipulations, photography, etc).

Please Don't Send

We are looking for speculative (science fiction, fantasy, weird, horror, etc.) themed artwork. Please don’t send us artwork without a speculative element.
No erotica or explicit work.
No fanarts, no collages, no photomanips.


Sloane Hong

A black and white drawing of a person wearing glasses, hands covering the sides of their face. They have long black hair, and the image is over a blue background.

Rumours suggest that Sloane Hong [they/them] is an illustrator, comic artist and tattooer who lurks somewhere deep within the agonising, suburban sprawl of Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. However, these claims have yet to be verified.

Documented photo evidence of their work may be found on plaest2k.me or on twitter and instagram using the handle @plaest2k.

Solomon Enos

Solomon Robert Nui Enos is a Native Hawaiian artist, illustrator, and visionary. Born and raised in Makaha Valley (O‘ahu, Hawai‘i), Solomon hails from the well-known Enos ‘ohana. Solomon has been making art for more than 30 years and he is adept at artistic expression in a wide variety of media including oil paintings, book illustrations, murals, and game design. A self-described “Possibilist” Solomon’s art expresses an informed aspirational vision of the world at its best via contemporary and traditional art that leans towards Sci-Fi and Fantasy. His work touches on themes like collective-consciousness, ancestry and identity, our relationship with our planet, and all through the lens of his experience as a person indigenous to Hawai’i.

Solomon has exhibited in Biennial X (Honolulu Museum of Art), 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Queensland Art Gallery), CONTACT art exhibitions, and others. His work is held in private collections and in the public collections of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Hawai’i State Art Museum. He has led numerous community mural projects and has received art commissions for hotels, corporate offices, public buildings, and schools in Hawai’i. His latest works include murals and augmented-reality installations for Google and Disney.


Dante Luiz is an illustrator and occasional writer from southern Brazil. He is one of the two Art Directors for Strange Horizons, and his first graphic novel was published in 2020 by comiXology Originals (“CREMA”, written by Johnnie Christmas).


Send all questions to art.contest@dreamfoundry.org


The submission period for the 2023 contest has closed.