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Costume Contests

Costume Contest

Individual and Group

Saturday, June 22 

Age 13+ division.

Children’s

Costume Contest

Sunday, June 23

Age 12 and under division.
Registration information coming soon!

Costume Contest Judges

Galaxy Gh0st Cosplay

Nicoolinn

Thousand Faces Cosplay

Dawn Frost Cosplay

Costume Contest Prizes

Best in Show

$1000

Masters Category

1st Place

$500 + more

2nd Place

$300 + more

Intermediate Category

1st Place

$300 + more

2nd Place

$200 + more

Beginner Category

1st Place

$200 + more

2nd Place

$100 + more

Judge’s Choice

$25 Gift Certs + more

(four awarded)

Best Stage Presence

$25 + more

Ripley Award

Children’s Contest Prizes

Best in Show

$100 + more

Runner Up

$75 + more

Honorable Mention

$50

Ripley Award

Check out the Soonercon 31 recap!

Costume Contest Categories

Each costume contest category will have a maximum number of entrants due to time constraints. See costume contest rules below for more information and appeals process.

Beginner

The beginner division is to encourage those new to the hobby. It is expected that 50% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

You may not enter as a beginner if you have ever received professional compensation for costuming (inclusive of: commission-based sales, careers in various craftsman fields related to the making of cosplay, paid professional modeling of cosplay or other compensated appearances). Email costuming@soonercon.com with questions. 

Contestants may not routinely compete at the Intermediate/Journeyman level in regional competition, or have accomplished any of the following in international competition: 

  • have won in a higher division
  • have won Best in Show
  • have won in the beginner division a number of (3) division or smaller awards to be determined by the Costuming Manager

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Beginner category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Intermediate

The intermediate division allows further development of costuming skills. It is expected that 75% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

Contestants may not enter if they have accomplished any of the following in international competition: 

  • have placed three times in an intermediate division
  • have placed any award in a master category
  • have won Best in Show

Contestants in this category are recommended (not required) to create and bring a portfolio to present to the contest judges during prejudging. The portfolio consists of printed information showcasing the costume, design reference images, and color images of the costume during construction. If a contestant chooses to bring a portfolio, it must be a physical copy. Photos or portfolios on phones/mobile devices/technology will not be allowed. All portfolios will be returned following the stage portion of the costume contest. 

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Intermediate category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Master

The master division is an open class. It is expected that 90% of the contestant’s costume has been made by the contestant.

For the costume being entered in the contest, contestants in the Master category must pre-submit both their design reference images and at least 10 full-color process and/or construction images no later than two weeks prior (Friday, June 7, 2024) to costuming@soonercon.com. It is required that contestants in this category of competition bring a physical copy of this portfolio to present to the contest judges during prejudging as well. Photos or portfolios on phones/mobile devices/technology will not be allowed. All portfolios will be returned following the stage portion of the costume contest. 

Master division participants may not enter a costume with which they have previously won Best in Show or another convention’s Masters division, including but not limited to a previous Soonercon. However, previous Soonercon Best in Show winners may enter the Masters division with a different costume. If you have competed in any Best in Show or another convention’s Masters division and placed in any of those categories  with the costume you are competing in, you are required to list those awards in your contest application, along with any other awards won with the costume. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification.

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of ten (10) entrants into the Master category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Group Entries

Groups (two or more contestants) are eligible to compete together in all division levels, including being eligible for Best in Show. Group costume participants must each individually apply for the contest and need to include each legal name of their fellow costume collaborators who are participating in the group entry on their individual registration form to identify the group’s members. Failure to do so will result in each contestant competing individually at the level in which the contestant entered and not as a group. 

When competing as a group, the group is required to abide by the rules of the division in which they have registered, with the exception of the following: Each contestant in the group must make no less than 50% of their own individual costume for beginner category entries and 75% of their own individual costume for intermediate and master categories. 

Groups shall not exceed more than four members. All contestants must compete at the highest level of the individual craftsmanship in their group. Example, if a beginner and a master-level entrant compete together as a group, they must both enter the Master division.

Awards and prizes won as a group will be issued to the group (one award/prize). By entering the contest as a group, participants acknowledge this and will work out amongst themselves who retains the physical award and any division of prizes.

Children’s Contest

Participants should conceptualize and make the majority of their own costumes. Adults, parents, and siblings may help, but they should not construct the entire costume for the child to wear. Allow young contestants to be creative! The purpose of this contest division is for youth to discover the joy of costuming and to be able to compete against similarly-skilled participants. Costumes that appear to be made solely by an adult will be negatively scored.

This is for children 12 and under, and each contestant must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This is strictly enforced.

There is a cap of 30 participants for this contest, and registration is based on a first come, first served basis. Participants can pre-register online or onsite Friday and Saturday during registration hours.

Costume Contest Rules

The Soonercon Costume Contest categories this year closely align with the International Costumers Guild guidelines. While we ask the contest participant to select an age division and competition category prior to the show, the Costuming Manager will have final authority in determining the appropriate category entry for each contestant.

The Costume Contest is for costume entries predominantly sewn/fabricated by the contestant. If you bought the full costume or had someone else alter it for you, this disqualifies you from entry.

Costumers who have assembled their costume from commercially produced or otherwise alternatively sourced (including but not limited to commissions and closet/thrifted cosplays) are ineligible to enter the Costume Contest. These costumers are encouraged to enter our Cosplay Fashion Show, held on the Friday of the convention. Rules for those contests are stated below in the section “Cosplay Fashion Show.”

GENERAL RULES / REGISTRATION POLICIES

The Soonercon Costume Contest rules are modeled from standards found at other conventions in addition to the International Costumers Guild guidelines. The purpose of these rules is that everybody can have a safe, equitable and enjoyable costuming experience:

All participants must be paid members of Soonercon. Children age twelve (12) and under receive a free membership with paid accompanying adult membership(s).

All participants in the Costume Contest must complete and return a contest registration form by 11:59 pm on Friday, June 7, 2024, regardless of division, or until all contestant slots are filled, whichever happens first. Entries will not be accepted after this date for the current year’s contest. Contestants thirteen (13) years of age and older may enter the Costume Contest. Children’s Costume Contest participants must be twelve (12) years of age or younger on the day of the competition.

Contestants will be notified of receipt of their form and official entry into the contests with additional information about what to expect, prejudging information, convention registration and other details.

To be eligible for prizes in the Costume Contest competition, contestants must participate in both their assigned prejudging time slot and then exhibit their costume onstage during the staged contest event. Contestants will not be asked to speak during the contest; the emcee will announce information about the costume entry during the contestant’s time to walk and pose onstage.

A person may enter the Soonercon Costume Contest who has previously won Best in Show or other contest awards at a past Soonercon. However, they may not enter that same costume for the current year’s competition event.

Soonercon’s AV staff will supply music and other production elements for the costume contests; contestants do not need to prepare music or video for the competitions.

For safety purposes, all attendees must wear some form of protective footwear. Please be mindful of your safety and that of others while in costume. Please cosplay safely and at your own risk – Soonercon and FSCOK are not liable for injuries or accidents incurred by costume hazards.

Do not impede traffic or pose a fire hazard. Plan for assistance if you have an oversized costume or prop. There are plenty of folks who can help you if asked.

No loose glitter, confetti, explosives, projectiles, or objects emitting smoke, vapors, or excessive noise or light are permitted.

Costumes with electric power requirements need to be self-contained, as there will be no access to power outlets.

Nudity: No costume is no costume. Nude or indecent (discretion of the Costuming Manager) entries will not be accepted. Please remember that children and members of the media will be present. No nudity is allowed inside the convention center or other public spaces. All costumes must include full-coverage bottoms. Breasts and nipples must be fully covered/concealed. Underwear is not accepted attire. Swimsuits are accepted attire, as long as they provide full coverage. Body painting must abide by the coverage requirements detailed here.

CONTESTANT RESPONSIBILITIES

For all accessibility needs and considerations, please notify our costuming team with this information on your registration form.

Costume Contest contestants must attend a prejudging session with the contest judges. Prejudging sessions will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2024, and each contestant will be assigned a time slot prior to the beginning of the convention and be sent this information by email. It is the responsibility of the contestant to be present fifteen (15) minutes prior to their appointed prejudging session. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest.

All contestants must be in full costume at the prejudging session and may present a printed portfolio of the costume’s fabrication process. Reference image material for contest entries is encouraged, but not required. Judges are not always able to look-up reference images on their own, so it is best to show up prepared for the contest. Contestants will be given approximately three (3) minutes for their prejudging session.

All weapons and props must be inspected by a member of the costume staff at the prejudging session. All local laws, codes, and regulations will be enforced, along with Convention Policies. If the weapon or prop is to be part of the contestant’s stage presentation, it must be inspected at the prejudging session. Props or weapons not inspected will not be permitted on stage. Participants found in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the contest. While staged fighting within a presentation is allowed, at no time will any weapon be used to threaten anyone outside their presentation, even in jest. Participants found in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the contest.

Contestants should prepare three (3) to five (5) poses they can do onstage as part of the exhibition of their costume. Contestants will have the opportunity to walk onstage, present the costume to the audience and judges by way of posing in the costume a few times, then will exit the stage. The costumed stage walk and posing are considered the exhibition portion of the competition. Plan for one (1) minute or less of stage presentation time.

DAY-OF-COMPETITION RULES / PREJUDGING INFO

It is the responsibility of the contestant to be present fifteen (15) minutes prior to their appointed prejudging session. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest.

During prejudging, each entrant will be allowed approximately three (3) minutes to present their costume. Be prepared to tell the judges what you want them to know about your costume, and be courteous to the judges and your fellow competitors by keeping your presentation brief.

Prejudging is not open to the public. Only contestants and their handlers are allowed in prejudging areas.

The judges reserve the right to bump the contestant up or down a craftsmanship level if they feel it is necessary after they have seen all entries during prejudging. Judges have the right to abstain from judging contestants based on prior knowledge of competitors (such as direct personal relationships, being coworkers, etc.), and these scores will be based on the average of the remaining judges.

Costumes must be finished before you get to prejudging, and no additional components should be added or modified before the onstage portion of the competition. No sewing, gluing, soldering, or other construction work will be accepted, with exception for unexpected repairs. Unexpected repairs are to be brought to the attention of the Costuming Manager so they can be deemed as necessary and not last-minute modifications.

Costumes with electric power requirements need to be self-contained, as there will be no access to power outlets.

All weapons and props will be inspected and approved by the costuming staff prior to conducting prejudging.

Contest participants must arrive in costume at the Costume Contest Lineup room at its scheduled time and designated location Saturday evening. Contestants may arrive no later than thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the Costume Contest event.

This pre-contest time is used to establish the participant lineup and provide stage directions and other information to contestants prior to the Costume Contest. Handlers may escort and assist the contestant in this room (as well as to the stage, with permission of the Costuming Manager given at prejudging/lineup), but by and large, Soonercon staff and volunteers will assist the contestant during the lineup, getting onstage, and with exiting the stage.

Contestants under 18 years of age must have a legal guardian with them throughout the contest, as well as be accompanied by a legal guardian in the room during prejudging and at all times behind the stage. This is strictly enforced. Proof of age may be requested at any time during these events.

ONSTAGE / EXHIBITION RULES

Onstage time for all divisions is one (1) minute or less of stage presentation time.

Soonercon is not responsible for any damage to costumes caused by tripping, falling, or costume malfunction. If necessary, a handler may accompany you, for assistance.

Do not leave anything on the stage that a staff member cannot quickly remove. If you plan to leave anything on stage, please let us know so we can clear the stage before the next contestant enters. If using large props, make a request in your application form for handler assistance getting on and off stage. We will need this information during registration.

You may not use a microphone on stage.

No fire, loose glitter, confetti, explosives, projectiles, or objects emitting smoke, vapors, excessive noise, or light are permitted. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest and may be responsible for fire and safety code violations imposed by the city of Norman and/or Cleveland County, in the state of Oklahoma.

Loud noises, dangerous weapons, and devices must have full, proper, and prior clearance by the Costuming Manager before entering the contest.

We strongly encourage contestants to create exciting and energetic stage presentations of their costumes. Contestants may surprise the audience, but all elements of the stage presentation must be identified in the prejudging meeting. Do not surprise the staff or judges at the competition. Participants found in violation of this rule may be immediately disqualified from the contest.

Upon completing one’s stage exhibition, contestants are not permitted to enter the stage area unless specifically invited to do so by staff or judges. Participants found in violation of this rule may be immediately disqualified from the contest.

CATEGORIES OF COMPETITION

Costumers must select the category in which they wish to compete on their contest registration form. Categories are defined as:

Beginner
The beginner division is to encourage those new to the hobby. It is expected that 50% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

You may not enter as a beginner if you have ever received professional compensation for costuming (inclusive of: commission-based sales, careers in various craftsman fields related to the making of cosplay, paid professional modeling of cosplay or other compensated appearances). Email costuming@soonercon.com with questions. 

Contestants may not routinely compete at the Intermediate/Journeyman level in regional competition, or have accomplished any of the following in international competition: 

  • have won in a higher division
  • have won Best in Show
  • have won in the beginner division a number of (3) division or smaller awards to be determined by the Costuming Manager

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Beginner category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Intermediate
The intermediate division allows further development of costuming skills. It is expected that 75% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

Contestants may not enter if they have accomplished any of the following in international competition: 

  • have placed three times in an intermediate division
  • have placed any award in a master category
  • have won Best in Show

Contestants in this category are recommended (not required) to create and bring a portfolio to present to the contest judges during prejudging. The portfolio consists of printed information showcasing the costume, design reference images, and color images of the costume during construction. If a contestant chooses to bring a portfolio, it must be a physical copy. Photos or portfolios on phones/mobile devices/technology will not be allowed. All portfolios will be returned following the stage portion of the costume contest. 

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Intermediate category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Master
The master division is an open class. It is expected that 90% of the contestant’s costume has been made by the contestant.

For the costume being entered in the contest, contestants in the Master category must pre-submit both their design reference images and at least 10 full-color process and/or construction images no later than two weeks prior (Friday, June 7, 2024) to costuming@soonercon.com. It is required that contestants in this category of competition bring a physical copy of this portfolio to present to the contest judges during prejudging as well. Photos or portfolios on phones/mobile devices/technology will not be allowed. All portfolios will be returned following the stage portion of the costume contest. 

Master division participants may not enter a costume with which they have previously won Best in Show or another convention’s Masters division, including but not limited to a previous Soonercon. However, previous Soonercon Best in Show winners may enter the Masters division with a different costume. If you have competed in any Best in Show or another convention’s Masters division and placed in any of those categories  with the costume you are competing in, you are required to list those awards in your contest application, along with any other awards won with the costume. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification.

The Costume Contest will permit a maximum of ten (10) entrants into the Master category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Group Entries
Groups (two or more contestants) are eligible to compete together in all division levels, including being eligible for Best in Show. Group costume participants must each individually apply for the contest and need to include each legal name of their fellow costume collaborators who are participating in the group entry on their individual registration form to identify the group’s members. Failure to do so will result in each contestant competing individually at the level in which the contestant entered and not as a group. 

When competing as a group, the group is required to abide by the rules of the division in which they have registered, with the exception of the following: Each contestant in the group must make no less than 50% of their own individual costume for beginner category entries and 75% of their own individual costume for intermediate and master categories. 

Groups shall not exceed more than four members. All contestants must compete at the highest level of the individual craftsmanship in their group. Example, if a beginner and a master-level entrant compete together as a group, they must both enter the Master division.

Awards and prizes won as a group will be issued to the group (one award/prize). By entering the contest as a group, participants acknowledge this and will work out amongst themselves who retains the physical award and any division of prizes.

COSTUME CONTEST AWARDS

For each category, individual or group contestant entries will be awarded one of the following awards:

Best in Class
This award is given to a contestant exhibiting exceptional skill in all areas of costuming within the expectations of the aforementioned class. Awards will be issued to one contestant in each of the Beginner, Intermediate, and Master divisions for first and runner up (six total prizes).

Across the entire competition, individual contestant entries will be awarded one of the following awards:

Best Runway
Awarded to a contestant whose stage presentation exceptionally enhances the interpretation or appreciation of the contestant’s costume (one prize).

Judge’s Choice
Each competition judge selects one (1) contestant whose costume warrants special recognition. The criteria for this award is solely at the discretion of the judge granting the award (up to four prizes total).

Best in Show
This award is given to the contestant who exhibits unparalleled excellence in all areas of costuming, across all competitor classes in the competition. The winner of the Best in Show award is the recipient of the contest grand prize (one prize).

All Costume Contest awards and prizes will be presented at the close of the competition on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

COSPLAY FASHION SHOW

Showcase your awesome cosplays!

On Friday, June 21, 2024 a Cosplay Fashion Show will take place. This exhibition event and friendly contest is for attendees to show off their costumes and for those who are not interested in competing in the formal costume contest, as well as for contestants who have assembled their costume from commercially produced or otherwise alternatively sourced items (including but not limited to commissions and closet/thrifted cosplays).

Participants will be expected to show off runway-style in front of a Soonercon backdrop with open photography available, and may be judged based on this presentation (if wishing to participate) for the awards below.

Cosplay Fashion Show costumes must conform to all Convention Policies and must be worn in accordance with the Costuming policy. An escort is recommended if the costume impedes vision or mobility. If carrying a weapon prop, please be sure to carefully read all Weapons Policies.

Awards:
Participants may opt to be judged onsite during this event. Group and youth entries are permitted. Judges will recognize participants for the competition and award them as follows:

  • Most Heroic
  • Vilest Villain
  • A Magical Masterpiece
  • Most Mythical Creature
  • Most Likely to be Eaten by a Mimic

Awards will be presented at Intermission of the Costume Contest and the closing ceremonies of the convention on Sunday, June 23, 2024. Participants do not need to be present to win and will be contacted based on the contact information provided for the Cosplay Fashion Show at time of event.

CHILDREN’S COSTUME CONTEST RULES & AWARDS

Participants should conceptualize and make the majority of their own costumes. Adults, parents, and siblings may help, but they should not construct the entire costume for the child to wear. Allow young contestants to be creative! The purpose of this contest division is for youth to discover the joy of costuming and to be able to compete against similarly-skilled participants. Costumes that appear to be made solely by an adult will be negatively scored.

This is for children 12 and under, and each contestant must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This is strictly enforced.

There is a cap of 30 participants for this contest, and registration is based on a first come, first served basis. Participants can pre-register online or onsite Friday and Saturday during registration hours.

Judges will recognize three contestants during the competition and award them as follows:

  • Best in Show
  • Runner Up
  • Honorable Mention
GENERAL STIPULATIONS

Soonercon has the authority to eliminate anyone from the competitions on the grounds of obscenity, harassing behavior, danger, contest rules violations, and Convention Policy violation.

Signature Requirement: Each entrant in the contest will be required to give their signature on the day of the competition to verify that they have read the rules and will adhere to them. Minors (17 years of age and younger) must have a parent or guardian’s accompanying signature. Participants found in violation of this procedure will be immediately disqualified from the contest.

APPEALS AND QUESTIONS

Contact costuming@soonercon.com with any questions regarding the aforementioned rules of competition and category assignments.

Appeals against disqualification must be made directly to the Costuming Manager. If the contestant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the first appeal, they may appeal to the Soonercon Board of Directors, whose decision is final and cannot be disputed.

Any Soonercon member may contact the convention committee staff at any time during the con at Convention Registration/HQ desk or via our Feedback Form.

Enter the Costume Contest

Click one of the buttons below to register for entry into one of our costume contests.

 

Contact costuming@soonercon.com for any comments, questions or concerns.

Costume Contest Sponsorship

Soonercon is well known for its costume contests; bringing together some of the most talented cosplayers, sewists, and fabricators in the region. Our Saturday evening Costume Contest is one of the highest-attended events of the convention weekend.

Costume Contest sponsors help us build reward packages for the winners of our esteemed competitions. And it puts your business in front of thousands of fans. We accept both in-kind (products, gift certificates, etc.) and monetary donations to bring our contests to life.

Costume Contest Sponsorship Levels