6 Submissions Platforms for the Creative Industries

6 Submissions Platforms for the Creative Industries

Choosing the right process whilst taking entries could save you hundreds of hours of admin. To save you a little time we’ve compiled a list of the best submission platforms serving the creative eco-system at this time.

Online Forms & Spreadsheets

e.g. Jotform, Google Docs, Excel

JotForm home page screenshot

from Free

Best for

  • Small numbers of entries
  • No judging
  • Those with a lot of time (heavy on admin)

Online forms and spreadsheets were not built for taking submissions, however, we’ve seen many organisations repurpose them to do just that!

Forms will only support you in gathering a manageable number of submissions, and will eventually end up with huge administrative overheads when you begin making your selection (emailing candidates, compiling reports for judges…). Spreadsheets are also prone to user errors which can have massive consequences (e.g. misaligning one row, impacting all of those below).

Key Features

  • Complete control over the process – but no easy way of doing submissions and selection in one place without administration.
  • Easy to collaborate and share with people.
  • With work can integrate with a payment platform.
  • No network.


  • Mostly free, if you have access to the tools already.


OESS home page screenshot

from £4 per entry

Best for

  • Open Art Exhibitions
  • UK based

We think OESS was one of the first art submissions platforms born in the UK (if not the first). OESS aims to streamline the process of submission and selection online, and has recently added an online gallery to it’s offering.

Key Features

  • A complete process from submission to selection.
  • Access a customisation screen, building each Open Call to your specific needs.
  • Accept payments
  • Get published on the OLIST, a marketing system that reaches out to artists who regularly apply to OESS Open Calls.
  • Network of UK based artists.


  • £4.00 per Artwork Entry for the first 500
  • £3.00 per Artwork Entry for the next 500
  • £2.00 per Artwork Entry for entries over 1000
  • and £2.00 per Artwork shown in the online gallery


from $999

Best for

  • Writing submissions / Publishers
  • Based in the U.S.

Submittable started its life as a submissions platform for literary magazines. It has since then extended its product into other sectors, including grants, corporate social responsibility and more.

Key Features

  • A mature product facilitating the complete process from submission to selection.
  • Collaborative submissions
  • Customise the selection criteria
  • Comprehensive analytics and reporting
  • Just launched a network


  • Starts at $999 (1 project with 300 submissions and basic yes/no review)
  • All other packages are by quote only


That’s us!

A beautiful screen shot of the Zealous home page screenshot

From £15/m

Best for

  • Any open call (Awards, Competitions…)
  • UK based (but expanding quickly)

Zealous was born out of a need to support creative talent find opportunities.

Key Features

  • Highly visual submissions and selection platform, with no limits on opportunities or file sizes.
  • Invite judges to select candidates across as many rounds as you would like.
  • Simple integrated payments, special deals and invoicing.
  • Your opportunity automatically recommended to the Zealous network every 2 weeks.
  • Reinvests 15% of profits into community initiatives.
  • A network of 30,000+ creatives.


  • Try it out for free
  • Then select a plan matching your needs (starting at £15/m)


ArtOpps home page screenshot

Quoted per programme

Best for

  • Open Art Exhibitions
  • UK based

ArtOpps was conceived by London based art consultants Parker Harris. Just like OESS, ArtOpps aims to support arts organisations in taking submissions and selecting candidates for open exhibitions.

Key Features

  • A complete process from submission to selection.
  • Customise your Open Call to your needs.
  • Accept payments
  • A network of UK based artists.
  • For a fee, Parker Harris can create press and marketing campaigns to increase awareness of your open call.


  • Quoted based on a specific programme.


Evalato home page screenshot

€900 per programme
+ €3 per entry

Best for

  • Scholarships, jobs, abstracts…
  • Europe

In 2018, Evalato was born from an event ticketing and registration software. Since then it added new features including automatically emailing candidates based on their status, moving the payment step in the submission cycle and associating submissions to categories.

Key Features

  • A malleable process to accept and select submissions for scholarships, jobs, abstracts…
  • Highly customisable
  • Integrations with your own payment gateways
  • Multiple judging rounds
  • No network


  • €900 per programme + €3 per application

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About the author


Guy Armitage founded Zealous to simplify access to opportunities in the creative sector. He was voted Guardian’s Creative Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, has discussed the world-changing potential of creativity at TED and in Forbes; and is a proud trustee of Firstsite (Colchester) and Arebyte (London). Prior to Zealous, Guy kept the London Stock Exchange open during the 7/7 bombings and founded a creative startup in Cairo. Contact Guy



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