Costume Contests
Rules & FAQ

NIGHTMARE WEEKEND AFTER DARK COSTUME SHOWCASE 18+
FRIDAY OCTOBER 13, 2023

Calling all gorgeous ghouls and haunted hotties! Show off your sexiest and spookiest cosplays in the Nightmare Weekend After Dark Sexy Costume Showcase! This adult-oriented catwalk-style contest is open to Nightmare Weekend attendees 18 years and older. Contestants and audience members under 18 are not allowed.

Pre-registration is required. Contestants can sign up in advance online or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). There is no prejudging or craftsmanship requirement for this contest. Contestants can compete in store-bought or homemade costumes.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best in Show: $250 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Director’s Choice: $200 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● 2nd Place: $150 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● 3rd Place: $100 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Best Group: $100 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Award Medals

COMPETITION RULES:
 ● This contest is open to all Nightmare Weekend attendees 18 years old or older with an event badge or wristband.
 ● One entry per person or group. No separate entries from the same person.
 ● There is a limit of 50 entries. 25 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention.
 ● Individual entries are limited to one person. Groups can include 2-10 people.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
 ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● No nudity! While this is an 18+ event, full nudity is still not allowed.
 ● The lowest layer of clothing contestants can strip down to is swimsuit/underwear layer.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed, including but not limited to: trash-talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, or bullying (in person or online). This behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed, including but not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, or any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the con, contestants must check in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Line-up instructions will be given at check in, as well as any time/location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the convention begins. A NW volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check in will occur simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be given once registered. Because this contest is part of NW’s After Dark events, competitors must verify that they are over 18.

All contestants must be at the Main Stage at least 30 minutes prior to the contest’s start time as listed on the official NW schedule (or the updated time if applicable). Walk-in entries may be accepted.

Contestants will appear on stage in the order they lined up in. Once on stage, they will provide the Emcee with their name, their character’s name, and the series their character belongs to. After posing, contestants will exit the stage and find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon Photographers will be uploaded onto GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

After Dark Showcase Application

NIGHTMARE WEEKEND COSTUME AND SFX COMPETITION
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2024

The Nightmare Weekend Costume & SFX Competition is our signature cosplay event, where the best cosplayers and Special Effects makeup artists show off their craftsmanship skills and creepy creations!

Registration and prejudging are required. Contestants can sign up online in advance or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). Contestants can enter in one of the following categories: Craftsmanship or Special Effects (SFX) Makeup. Every contestant must attend prejudging before the contest to discuss their cosplay with the judges.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:

PRIZE NAMES AND CASH AMOUNTS TO BE ANNOUNCED

COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

CRAFTSMANSHIP: This category focuses solely on costume and prop construction. Contestants will be judged on craftsmanship, so all cosplays entered must be at least 60% handmade or made from scratch overall.
SPECIAL EFFECTS (SFX) MAKEUP: This category focuses solely on special effects makeup and prosthetic work. Contestants will be judged on presentation, technique application, and creativity.

SKILL DIVISION GUIDELINES:

The Nightmare Weekend Costume Competition is open to cosplayers of all skill levels. In the interest of fairness, contestants will be separated into divisions based on skill and experience. Contestants must register under the division they believe fits them best. Judges reserve the right to bump any contestant up if they believe their work to be better than their initial placement. The divisions are as follows:

Junior/Youth:
This division is for any contestant 13 years old or under wearing a cosplay mostly created by themselves. (Parents/guardians are allowed to assist with construction but must not have done all of the work. Costumes built entirely by an adult but modeled by a child should be entered in the adult’s appropriate skill division.)

Novice:
Equivalent to Beginner. This division is for contestants who are new to cosplay and/or competing in major costume competitions. All contestants are eligible to compete in the Novice division unless they have competed and placed in the Novice/Beginner division or higher at a previous craftsmanship competition held by GalaxyCon or another major convention.

Journeyman:
Equivalent to Intermediate. This division is for contestants who have been cosplaying for a few years (about 3-5 years) and have made multiple intermediate-level costumes. Contestants who fit this description but have either never competed in a craftsmanship competition before, or have competed but never placed in the Novice or Journeyman divisions at a previous competition (GalaxyCon or otherwise) are eligible to compete at this level.

Masters:
Equivalent to Advanced. This division is for contestants who have been cosplaying for many years (5+) and have made multiple advanced-level costumes. Previous competition experience or placement is not required for this division as long as the costume entered demonstrates advanced construction techniques.

Special Note for Groups: Group members can belong to any skill division. Contestants should register under the skill division that best fits their group as a whole. The judges will use their discretion to determine which skill division to judge the group.

COSTUME/MAKEUP GUIDELINES:

● CRAFTSMANSHIP CATEGORY ONLY: All costumes entered must be at least 60% handmade (made from scratch) by the competitor. Store-bought costumes are not allowed. This includes costumes from stores like Amazon, Spirit Halloween, Walmart, MicCostumes, EZ Cosplays, thrift stores, etc. The following store-bought items are allowed: wigs, notions, trims, belts, shoes, jewelry, and most accessories. Other items will be allowed at the discretion of the judges.
 ● SFX MAKEUP CATEGORY ONLY: All looks entered must be created by the person registering for the competition. Models are allowed, but the creator must attend prejudging and the contest itself in order to meet with the judges and qualify for any awards.
 ● Props are allowed to be store-bought. However, this will make them ineligible for the Best Prop award.
 ● Contestants are highly encouraged to bring reference and progress photos of their costumes to pre-judging. These images can be brought physically (as print-outs or in a build book) or digitally (on the contestant’s personal phone/tablet device). Digital images must be assembled in a designated folder/album so that no time is wasted during prejudging. Journeyman and Master contestants are expected to bring multiple progress and reference photos.
 ● Commissioned costumes may only be entered if the creator of the costume is able to attend prejudging.
 ● Original characters and designs are allowed as long as competitors bring reference/inspiration photos.

COMPETITION RULES:

● This contest is open to all Nightmare Weekend attendees with an event badge or wristband.
 ● One entry per person or group. No separate entries from the same person.
 ● There is a limit of 50 entries. 25 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention. If all slots are filled, a waitlist will be created. People on the waitlist will only be called if enough registered contestants fail to attend pre-judging.
 ● Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
 ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● All costumes must be PG-13 or less. Nudity and risqué costumes are not allowed.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: trash-talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, and bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.
 ● Rerun Rule: If the costume being entered has already won an award at a GalaxyCon contest earlier that same weekend, it is ineligible to compete. If the costume has won an award at a previous GalaxyCon or other major convention before the current calendar year, it is ineligible to compete. If the costume won at another convention within the current calendar year, it can still be entered.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email with their contestant number and prejudging information once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the con, contestants must check in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Directions to the prejudging room will be given at check-in, as well as any time/location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the con begins. A NW volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will occur simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be given once registered.

Please arrive at the Prejudging Room at any time within your 30-minute prejudging window. Contestants will be seen in order of arrival. The judges will speak to individual contestants for about 3 minutes and to groups for about 5 minutes. Please have any reference/progress photos ready to show. Every contestant will be photographed by a GalaxyCon photographer. Once done with prejudging, you are free until line-up time.

All contestants must be at the Main Stage for line-up at least 45 minutes prior to the start time as listed on the official NW schedule (or the provided updated time if applicable). Arrivals any time later than this may not be accommodated and may result in disqualification.

Contestants will line up and appear on stage according to their skill division line-up number (provided during prejudging). Once on stage, the Emcees will announce the contestant’s name and character. They will strike 3 poses and exit. Contestants will then watch the rest of the contest from anywhere in the audience. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon photographers will be uploaded to GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Costume & SFX Application

NIGHTMARE WEEKEND ALL-AGES RUNWAY COSTUME CONTEST
SUNDAY OCTOBER 15, 2023

Nightmare Weekend’s Runway & Kids Costume Contest is a frighteningly fun catwalk-style event for cosplayers of all ages and skill levels! Show off your delightfully scary homemade or store-bought costumes for a chance to win cash and prizes!

Pre-registration is required. Contestants can sign up online in advance or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). There is no prejudging or craftsmanship requirement for this contest. Contestants can compete in store-bought or homemade costumes. Kids under the age of 13 will compete amongst their peers in a special category.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best in Show: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual, Youth: TBD & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group, Youth: TBD & Custom Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals
 ● Judges’ Awards, Youth (3): Custom Medals

COMPETITION RULES:
 ● This contest is open to all Nightmare Weekend attendees with an event badge or wristband.
 ● One entry per person or group. No separate entries from the same person.
 ● There is a limit of 50 entries. 25 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention.
 ● Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
 ● Youth Awards: For contestants 13 years old and younger.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form. All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● All costumes must be PG-13 or less. Nudity and risqué costumes are not allowed.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to: trash talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, and bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed. This includes but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line and/or backstage without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.
 ● Parents of young competitors may accompany their child while in line and on stage if desired. Being in costume is not required.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the con, contestants must check in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Line-up instructions will be given at check-in, as well as any time/location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the con begins. A NW volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will occur simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be given once registered.

All contestants must be at the contest’s designated stage at least 30 minutes prior to the start time as listed on the official NW schedule (or the updated time if applicable). Walk-in entries may be accepted.

Contestants will appear on stage in the order they lined up in. On stage, they will provide the Emcee with their name, their character’s name, and the series that character is from. After posing on stage, contestants will exit and find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon Photographers will be uploaded onto GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Runway Contest Application