Call for entries

Spectrum 26 cover art (detail) by Audrey Benjaminsen

For over twenty-seven years the Spectrum annual has been a showcase for the best and brightest creators of fantastic art from around the globe: it serves as an invaluable resource book for art directors, art buyers, publishers and agents world-wide. Hundreds of copies are sent out gratis with the intent of generating additional work and exposure for the artists selected for inclusion in the annual. The circulation of Spectrum far exceeds those of other annuals and resource books; we deliberately maintain a price that makes it affordable for every budget. Our purpose and singular agenda is the promotion of the art and artists. We believe that Spectrum functions as a cost-efficient promotional forum and provides a bridge between creator, client, and aficionado as well. Spectrum is all about facilitating opportunities for creators, about growing the audience for imaginative work in all its forms, without pretension and without prejudice.

The largest of this field's competitions is also the toughest to make; the act of entering art does not guarantee inclusion in the book. Not everyone gets in. The "excellence bar" is raised every year: the job of the jury to make selections gets increasingly difficult. Not being selected is not a personal criticism of the artist, but having your work chosen by the judges is of significance. Join with us to help celebrate twenty-seven years by making this volume the best yet: considering the excellence of the work in the previous twenty-seven books, it will be no small task, but we’re confident you all can do it.

Entry Details

Spectrum 28

The Spectrum 28 Call for Entries will open in early 2021. This is an invitation to all professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artist representatives to submit entries to the 28th Annual Spectrum International Competition for Fantastic Art. All art works in all mediums embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the surreal are eligible for this show. Fantastic Art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: there is no unacceptable way to create art and there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected "best of the year" collection for the fantastic arts.


Any published or unpublished art may be submitted in the appropriate category. Work must have been finished or first published in 2020.

The Basics

Do not submit original art or prints through the mail for judging: Entries are accepted online only. The jury will select works from the entries for inclusion in the Spectrum annual; the act of entering art in the competition does not guarantee inclusion in the book. If your entry is accepted, be certain that a reproduction-quality digital file (400dpi, tiff file at 9" wide or 12" tall) is available to ensure the entry's inclusion in the Spectrum annual. Failure to provide reproduction-quality material by the deadline given in an acceptance email will cause an otherwise-accepted entry to be excluded from the book.

The appropriate fee must accompany the entry, and the entry forms must be filled out legibly. (Information for the book and for correspondence will be drawn from the online entry forms.) The person submitting work for this competition warrants that he or she is the copyright holder or has the permission of the copyright holder to enter said work and by so doing grants permission for publication in the Spectrum annual and in the promotion of same. No other rights, either for print or electronic mediums, are granted to Spectrum, and copyrights will be acknowledged to the respective copyright holders within the content of the Spectrum annual.

Entry Fees

The single entry fee is $20 per work. The series (five or fewer related pieces) entry fee is $40. Note that the series entry fee is a price break for related works only (i.e., multiple illustrations for a book, pieces in an advertising campaign, pages from a comic story, works for a themed gallery show, etc.). The jury may select any art it deems worthy and is not obligated to select all works from a series entry.

All payments must be made online at the Flesk Publications website after submitting your art. Instructions are provided. Entry fees may be paid with a credit card or Paypal payment. We do not accept bank transfers or checks.

There are NO additional fees or charges. All Spectrum call for entries submissions sales are final. There are NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES for Spectrum call for entries submissions.

Deadline For Entries

Entries must be received and paid for no later than January 21, 2021. The judging will take place shortly after the deadline. Email with questions.

Notification For Accepted Work

Only entrants whose works are selected by the jury for inclusion will be notified in February 2020 by email, with additional information regarding what we'll need for the book. A list of accepted entrants will also be posted on the Spectrum website, Please check to see if your name is on the list before contacting us to ask if you made it. We will not be notifying entrants who did not have work selected: Only artists with work selected by the jury for inclusion in the annual will have their names listed on the website and will be notified by email.


Entries will be divided into eight major categories. Members of the jury will judge each category objectively, keeping in mind the work's intent and purpose in their decisions. Black-and-white, limited color and full-color works will be considered equitably. Each entrant is responsible for placing his or her work in the appropriate category when submitting online. Please email or call us if you are not sure of the proper category for your entry.


For single entries, use code A/1. For series entries, use code A/2. Suggested entries include art for newspapers or magazines; posters for films, TV or publications; packaging for video or music products; and art for brochures, billboards or POP displays.


For single entries, use code B/1. For series entries, use code B/2. Suggested entries include art appearing inside or on the covers of all hardbound or paperback books, including children's books. No complete books will be judged as a single entry; multiple pieces from a book should be entered as a "series."

Comics/Graphic Novels

For single entries, use code C/1. For series entries, use code C/2. Suggested entries include covers or individual pages from adult or children's comics or graphic novels. No complete comics will be judged as a single entry. Do not submit work featuring license-protected comic characters without the permission of said character's copyright holder.

Concept Art

For single entries, use code CA/1. For series entries, use code CA/2. Suggested entries include work created for films, TV programs, theater or video games. Do not submit work that is license-protected without the permission of the proper copyright holder. Artwork submissions are allowed for two years after the official release date of the product they were created for, to allow time for the permissions process.


For single entries, use code D/1. For series entries, use code D/2. Suggested entries include sculptures created for model kits, collectibles, editorial or fine art. A maximum of three photos of a single entry (to show detail) may be sent for no additional fee.


For single entries, use code E/1. For series entries, use code E/2. Suggested entries include all art appearing in magazines or newspapers, including spot art, political or humorous works, or on television news or "magazine" programs.


For single entries, use code I/1. For series entries, use code I/2. Suggested entries include art appearing in connection with announcements, annual reports, calendars, greeting cards, prints, portfolios, posters, plates, website graphics, collectibles, promotional directories or self-promotion mailers, and any other venues not obviously covered by the other categories.


For single entries, use code U/1. For series entries, use code U/2. Suggested entries include art created for portfolios, student work, gallery shows, experimental studies, speculative assignments and ongoing projects for work to be published at a future date.

Submission Technical Guidelines

Give your work a fair chance at being selected for inclusion in the book. Try to submit the best-quality representation of your art possible. DO make sure the submission is in focus and isn't the size of a postage stamp.

Entries are NOT prescreened: ALL entries will be reviewed by the jury.

Submission Guidelines

Digital Submissions: Visit the Spectrum online page to enter your submissions online and for digital file specifications. Entry files are required as 72 dpi RGB jpg files at 2000px Max width/height. The file size must be less than 10MB.

Spectrum 28th Annual Book

Each accepted entry will be reproduced in full color and given complete credit in the 28th Spectrum annual; the contact information for all artists or their agent/representatives will be printed in the artist index. The person who has submitted an accepted entry will receive a complimentary copy of the annual. International residents are required to pay shipping. Tear sheets are not available. Additional copies may be purchased at a discount.