The Best Free-Entry International Photography Contests

(and 6 paid entry ones where the fees is less than 20$ or 1000 Rs.)

Free Entry:

  1. Sony World Photography Contest
  2. Nikon International Photo Contest
  3. Olympus Global Open Photo Contest
  4. NTU International Photography Awards
  5. Istanbul Photo Awards
  6. Alexia Foundation Grants
  7. Cortona On the Move Photo Contest
  8. Smithsonian Photo Awards
  9. Leica Oskar Barnack Award
  10. Comedy Wildlife Photo Contest
  11. Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards

Paid (relatively cheap) Entry Fees:

  1. Gomma Grant
  2. National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
  3. Pictures of the Year International Photo Contest
  4. Kuala Lumpur Photo Awards
  5. Travel Photographer of the Year Awards
  6. Big Picture, Natural World Photography Contest
Street art, Berlin

A Leash for my Sanity

If I could confront

my sanity with a look

and a leash to boot

I’d have my life pulled

from the pages of a book

which I have yet to write

from chapters that know

no boundaries and no sin

where the Devil is innocent

where the angels are drunk

where we revel in transgression.

I need a leash for my sanity

do you hear me

I need a leash

for a sanity

that was never mine.


Home is not the concrete construct
where your mother resides
and your father returns to
It is not the land
your passport claims you belong to

Home is a state of mind
the environment you miss the most
when you live in a foreign land

Home may not be where you were born
but it may be the land
where your heart was first torn
where you first set foot in a classroom
and found your first crush

The place where you know the slang
a little too well
for your parents’ liking
Where you can get lost
and still be at ease
You know the streets
like the back of your hand

It is a place you complained of
when you knew no better
but when you left
you wished you left a letter
to show your gratitude
all the things you took for granted
that you couldn’t find
in the place your parents call home
in another place that you now call home

The smells, the tastes
the sounds and the sights
The faces that passed
as the years went by
you wish you could keep
in a little box in your heart
carry it around and open it
when you can take no more
You need to feel at home once more.

Breaking the silence

It’s on the tips of our tongues

The words our egos will never let us tell

I look at him; no it will never be the same again

You broke everything I’d try to regain

We’ll move on, you faster than I maybe

For you’ve broken more than mine

And through my rose colored glasses

You’re festooned in my head

I can forget you in a second

But that second will take a year

We both know the story

They say it wasn’t meant to be

They say a lot of things

I’m not made for flings

Will you cut through the ocean

Will I cross the skies once more

To break the silence

Will it be you or will it be me

In this force of gravity

This mutual attraction

Maybe we’ll find salvation.

No I don’t remember us falling in love

But I’m sure that it happened

Gabriel Royal

Cheers to Babylon

We’ll meet again one day

in Babylon, it’s not far away

I’ll lay out my armour

you’ll leave your armchair

We’ll sing tales of old

We’ll find out in time

Mozart’s unfinished requiem

You’ll play Lacrimosa

and I’ll call you Barbarossa

We’ll look for St. Clementine

is he still on his tea and croissants?

We’ll sing of Galileo

and reminisce Ronnie Dio

Do you think he feels hollow

Despite them chanting

Eppur Si Muove

And when you’ve found love

And I’ve found life

we’ll send each other postcards

written in the dark

in the shadows of a theater

while Lubitsch paints a story

and we find we’re turning thirty

We’ll raise our pens in silence

Cheers to Babylon.



‘Can someone take away my name

And let me go back to the start

I would give to you my story

If you let me keep my heart’

Sometimes the incidents that you’d never wish for are the best motivators. Somewhere along the way you realize that not everyone who seems polite and respectful means well. Sometimes the twenty-something year old college dropout-turned-bike-mechanic may be a far better human being than a dignified 54 year old journalist with numerous accolades to his name. As a woman, it’s hard finding safe spaces in unfamiliar countries. Over two decades of living in Asia, almost seven years of living in India, one of the most notorious countries for rape crimes, and I still find it surprising that the most unsafe situation and one of the most awkward scenarios I’ve been in, took place in the first world, in Europe nonetheless.

I plan to travel solo around Europe. This incident was the pushing factor. I feel I have something to prove, to myself. But before I leave I’ll buy myself a knife and some pepper spray.

‘I’ve been walking, walking for hours

so long that I forgot my home

And I’ve been dancing

under the oak trees

and I danced like I’ve never danced before’


We are all stardust

There is beauty in the in-betweens
in the infinite discourses of time and space and breath
in the nuances of the unintentional
the moments seen, tiptoe away, unheard

To know all that is within is without
and all that is lost may be found
in recesses forgotten, in disparate encounters
in a look met, a look given

There is depth in the silence
in a view shared, between this and that
in the leap between F minor and A major
when you’re swaying to a tune, but steady

To seek anonymity in travel
Blending in order to observe
and when observed, to be understood
To obnubilate in order to expose

And in the in-betweens, the silence
in every inflection, every glance and riposte
There is meaning in need of cognizance
There are stars in need of fuel.