Definitely not as competitive as Thunderdome

Many will enter, few will win. During Dragon Con, members can participate in a variety of contests listed below where you can win cash, prizes, and bragging rights.

Friday Night Costuming Contest

Where: Dragon Con Goes Virtual Main Channel
When: Friday, September 4, 2020 8:30pm

Dragon Con’s Friday Night Costuming Contest (FNCC) focuses solely on the craftsmanship of the costume and inspires both audience member and contestant alike.

Judges will be looking at the costume itself, the workmanship, design, and inspiration. This will be open to groups and individuals, experts and novices, and costumes from mainstream or self-creative. All judges are costuming professionals with extreme costume backgrounds.

Join us for a spectacle of hand made wonder from every skill level and genre.

Online pre-registration is now open! Please note that pre-registration is required to participate in this costume contest. For more information and to view the FAQs, please visit the Costuming Track’s contest page.

Hallway Costume Contest

Want a chance to show off your best costume on Dragon Con’s social media?  What better way than to take our traditional Hallway Costume Contest virtual!  Enter the contest through completion of the registration form and be prepared to win great prizes including memberships to Dragon Con and other awesome swag!!  We will be awarding 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Overall and then lots of other honors based on genre and other cool things about your submissions.  We can’t wait for you to show off your finest (or most brilliant mash up, quirky pairing, hilarious and smart joke reflected through your costume, etc.) to our social media followers who will have a chance to vote on their favorites with the submissions that get the most votes crowned the winners.  Grab your best costume, plan your most “in character” pose, and just have a great time sharing your cosplays all for a chance to be recognized in our Sunday night Masquerade event and to win great prizes.

Entries are due by midnight on September 2nd.

*Please note, pre-judging may occur depending on the number of applicants received.

Masquerade Costume Contest

Where: Dragon Con Goes Virtual Main Channel
When: Sunday, September 6, 2020 8:30pm

In the grand tradition of convention costuming, dating back nearly five decades in SF fandom, Dragon Con is proud to present the largest Masquerade Costume Contest in the Southeast and one of the largest in the world!

Due to the ongoing global pandemic Dragon Con (and thereby the Masquerade) is going virtual.  The 2020 Dragon Con Masquerade Costume Contest will be broadcasted in the Dragon Con Goes Virtual Main Channel. Registration/submissions for the Masquerade will be open through August 24th.

Submission of a video entry will require you to agree to abide by the rules of the Masquerade.  Please make sure you have read them before you submit a video entry.  The rules are listed below.


See below for Rules & Information and the Masquerade FAQ.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions by Masquerade Entrants

How much does it cost to enter the Masquerade?

Nothing at all.  This contest is open to the universe during Dragon Con Goes Virtual.  Bring your best costume and show off your amazing work to the Dragon Con community!

How do I enter the Masquerade?

Entering the Masquerade is easy (and a great way to win amazing prizes and the much coveted title of Best in Show)! Submit your video entry by August 24th using the link on the right of this page.  It’s that simple.  Then stand back, watch your amazing work on display, and keep your fingers crossed for a win from our judges.

The registration form asks me to categorize myself as ``Novice,`` ``Journeyman,`` ``Master,`` or ``Child`` - why?

The categories help us create a level playing field. If an entrant has won “Best in Show” at a previous convention, he or she is considered a “Master” – then all the “Master” category entrants compete against each other for a “Best in Show – Master” Award. We award a “Best in Show – Novice” award for the best scoring first-time entrant (someone who has never entered in a contest before).

We award a “Best in Show – Journeyman” award to the best competitor in the Journeyman category (someone who has won a category award previously).

We award a “Best in Show” to the best non-Master entrant. In any future Dragon Con Masquerades they enter, they will then compete in the “Master” category.

How are the award categories determined?

As stated above, we will have “Best in Show – Master”, “Best in Show – Journeyman”, and “Best in Show – Novice” awards. The top-scoring entrant who is not a Master will win an award entitled “Best in Show.”

We MAY have awards for other categories, depending on the entrants and number of contestants. In years past, we have utilized the following categories: Skit, Humor, Horror, Fantasy, Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Historical Recreation, Farscape, Lord of the Rings, Comic Book, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Audience Favorite . . . the list goes on.

Basically, the judges score all entrants, the scores are logged into a spreadsheet, and we check the tallied scores for the highest total scores. This is a very quick process – thank goodness for computers! The contestants with the highest scores are then checked for category. If there were two Star Wars contestants who scored equally well and we had 6 or more Star Wars entrants, we might break the category into Star Wars Hero and Star Wars Villain. However, if you are the only Farscape entry it does not necessarily mean you will win Best Farscape; you may be moved into a general SciFi category. It all depends on the number of entrants, what they do on stage, and the scoring by the judges.

How do the judges score the contestants?

The judges (3 to 5 convention guests) award a score of 0 to 10 for each of 3 attributes for each contestant. The attributes are:

Originality/Adaptation: Is this the most original concept the judges and audience have seen, or the best adaptation of a known concept? For example, a contestant made a “super hero” costume out of gold lame placemats; another contestant had a completely authentic Alien costume, down to the dripping mouth drool. Note to contestants: describe the inspiration for your costume in your emcee announcement.

Composition: Did someone go out and buy this, or did the contestant spend hours gluing, sewing, welding, etc. – is this a labor of love or dollars? For example, a contestant had hand-sewn thousands of yards of lace to make a beautiful historical costume; another contestant had hand-hammered hundreds of metal rings for chain mail. Note to contestants: tell us how long it took and the craftsmanship required in your emcee announcement – blow your own horn.

Presentation: Does the contestant(s) stay in character (or do something completely out of character) that grabs the audience? For example, the Alien guy made a little sign that he whipped out after he had menacingly advanced towards the emcee – the sign said “Ripley Sucks”; two contestants in historically correct medieval attire slowly crossed the stage while giving the royal wave and nod to their subjects – and we all felt like their subjects; a group came out in Klingon makeup – with Kiss make up on top and declared themselves to be a Klingon Kiss rock band. Note to contestants: get into character and stay there, or find a way to exploit or turn your character into the unexpected – grab the audience – humor helps.

What do the winners win?

There are plaques for Best in Show – Master, Best in Show, Best in Show – Children, Best in Show – Journeyman, and Best in Show – Novice; the rest of the category winners get a nice certificate suitable for framing.

Prize categories and amounts:

Best in Show – $500 Check and a 3 night paid hotel stay in a host hotel

Best Master Class – $100 Check

Best Journeyman – $50 Check

Best Novice – $50 Check

Best Youth/Kid under 6 – $50 Check

Best Youth/Kid over 6 – $50 Check

Individual judges categories may be established if the number of entrants warrants.  Individual judges category winners are eligible for $50 gift certificates to the Dragon Con store.

Dragon Con Masquerade - Rules & Information

  1. There will be a limit of fifty entries, at the Director’s discretion and depending upon the “mix” of contestants. A group performance is considered to be one entry.  Registration will be through utilizing the on-line pre-registration form and the submission of a video.  On-line registration closes on August 24th.
  2. Costume presentations should be between 60 seconds and 1 ½ minutes (90 seconds).  Videos longer than 90 seconds for an individual will not be accepted. Group sketches and skits should be between 2 and 3 minutes.  Videos longer than 3 minutes for a group skit will not be accepted.
  3. NO verbal explanations should be included by the contestants. Please provide all introductions and descriptions in the form of text for the MCs to read.  Except for the written emcee introduction, all audio material should be contained in the background of the video, including music or dialogue. Videos violating this rule will not be included.
  4. All contestants under the age of 16 must have the approval of a parent to participate.
  5. No profanity allowed. Any contestant who violates this rule will not be included in the contest.
  6. No nudity allowed; this is a family costume show. No costume is no costume.
  7. Dragon Con reserves the right to complete a pre-judging session if the number of entries warrants it. You will be notified prior to the show if your submission will be included and the approximate time of airing.
  8. If we have any issues with your submission, we’ll reach out to you to get it re-submitted, but we will not follow up more than once to make the request. The form below should return helpful messages to make sure the things are technically correct, but we will be reviewing for content and overall quality of submission.
  9. The humans that run Dragon Con, The Masquerade, and DragonConTV have the final edit/approval of submissions. If you are unsure about something, please reach out on Facebook or by e-mailing us at for technical questions or for questions around the contest.
  10. Videos should be submitted in horizontal, landscape position.  If recording with your cell phone, please make sure that you are doing so with it set/held on its side and NOT up and down.
  11. Entrants will compete under International Costumers’ Guild skill-division rules as Junior, Novice, Journeyman, or Master.  These categories are defined as follows:

Journeyman: A contestant who has won at least one, but less than four, category awards at a WorldCon, CostumeCon, Dragon Con, or ICG-recognized competition.

Novice: A contestant who has never won an award (as indicated above) in competition.

Junior: Any contestant under 16 (There will be two groups – ages 1 – 4, and ages 5 – 16).