Contest & Award Submissions

Launch a contest, accept applicable fees, and choose the most qualified winner, all with Submittable.

Competitions are a great way to engage your audience, helping you to attract publicity and to optionally generate income. However, they can be a big headache for the organizations that run them. Without the right software, managing a contest can be a time and labor-intensive process. In considering these pain points, Submittable has centralized the submission, payment, and management platform for contest and public voting submissions into a single online location. Allow your entrants to easily submit in any medium, including documents, images, sound, video, and more; establish your team member accounts; and vote on entries in one efficient and user-friendly place. You can even place entries online in a public forum so that a public audience can choose the winner for you.

Upgrade your submission workflow right now

Create a call for contest submissions, and centralize your team’s voting process.

Building an efficient contest submission or public voting workflow ensures you’re choosing the most deserving entrants for your awards. Here are a few examples of clients who have used Submittable to streamline their contest and public voting process:

  • the fence

    Higher education applications

    Move from paper forms to online, where data can be easily reviewed and shared among colleagues and decision makers.

  • peace corps

    Design competitions

    Vet individuals and their work for architectural projects or other design-based competitions. Choose to accept over 50 different kinds of file formats, including images, video, audio, documents, and more.

  • international association of culinary professionals

    Awards programs

    Accept and vote on award nominations from the public or within your organization or industry.

  • nashville film festival

    Screenplay competitions

    Review screenplays in any format for your film festival or film organization.

  • y combinator

    Business plan contest

    Find up-and-coming startups to fund and support by running a business plan competition for your incubator or venture capital firm.

How to solicit contest submissions and other helpful advice.

Create a submission category and encourage your entrants to submit their applications via Submittable. Place a ‘Submit’ button or a link to your category on your website so that entrants can easily find your submission form. Our submission category software allows you to establish a series of qualifying questions, and correlate all the proper data to the contest or award entry. You can even send submitters a set of follow-up fields (a qualifier for their entry, for example) if they pass a first set of criteria.

Emphasize what makes your contest unique. Why should submitters enter your contest? Are you going to display their work on a great platform? Will winning your contest help advance their hobby or career? There can be many reasons that compel someone to enter a contest, but you should start with the end goal first and work backward. Consider what would make you enter the contest if you were in their shoes. Mention the benefits of entering the contest in your category guidelines and contest promotions.

Curate first before opening votes to the public. With public-facing contests, our clients typically prefer to curate the entries first, before showing them to the public. This helps ensure that the entries are valid, do not violate rules or regulations, and are owned by the submitter. Our software enables you to easily distribute entries to the appropriate team member levels and to vote on them internally, before moving them on to a public audience.

Three tips for implementing an optimal contest workflow.


Build a complete category form. Remember, the more you ask of the contest entrant at the point of submitting, the less you’ll need to ask later.


Segment your public entries properly. Sometimes, too many options isn’t a good thing. Before you make all entries public for voting, consider eliminating any entries that don’t meet your contest standards. In this way, any entries shown to the public will be of high quality, and you can be assured that a strong entry will not be diluted by falling too far down the page.


Optionally make submissions anonymous. You have the option to make contest entries anonymous, to the public and/or to any team member at or below your preferred blind level settings. This can help prevent team members or contest voters from making decisions based on preconceived notions they may have about the entrants, especially if some entrants already have a history of success. This also makes it easy for you to hold public contests for students whose parents may wish them to remain anonymous.

Make the most of your time by using Submittable’s contest and award form templates. Create your submission form in minutes by choosing a pre-created form template from our library. Choose from templates for literary contests, public voting contests, photo award competitions, literary contests, and more. All templates are customizable, too, so you can pick one and perfect it to fit your exact needs. Submittable also gives you access to the submission tools you need to easily deploy and analyze your contest submission, empowering you to make smarter decisions. And we take submission security and anonymity seriously, so rest assured that your data and insights are safe with us.


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Upgrade your process today

Intuitive & Simple

Simple interface and powerful tools allow you to start accepting submissions in minutes.


We provide variety of plans for your size of organization.

Saves you time that you can focus on choosing the best submissions.


Our advanced customization lets your account grow as your organization grows. Learn more

Intuitive & Simple

Simple interface and powerful tools allow you to start accepting submissions in minutes.


We provide variety of plans for your size of organization.

Saves you time that you can focus on choosing the best submissions.


Our VIP plans let your account grow as your organization grows. Learn more