Contact: Swancon 2009 are pleased to announce this year's Masquerade will be held on Saturday 11th April from 7.30pm. With a theme of Other Worlds, we are looking forward to seeing the costumes that arise from the mists of the minds. Dust off that old Star Trek uniform, grab that long multi-coloured scarf from the broom cupboard, polish up that battle armour, or start working on your Other Worlds costume. Thrill, dazzle or horrify with the mystery, the magic and the fear of the unknown, that which exists beyond the earthly realms, that which is from the 'Other Worlds'.

Entry is free to all full members and Saturday day members.

Please note that normal rules of decency apply ("no costume" is not a costume). A themed costume is not compulsory for entry to the event, but it adds to the atmosphere if every one dresses up a bit. Weapons included as part of costumes must be peacebonded. Judging will take place within the first two hours, with a formal parade, and a quieter area for presentation and photography for those not wanting to do the full parade. You must make yourself known to the judges in one of the above two ways for your costume to be included in the judging.

Swancon Masquerade Judging Guidelines 2009

Main/best prizes will be awarded based on these judging guidelines. Main prizes are traditionally one or two full memberships for the following Swancon, each valued at $120+. Prizes are subject to change at short notice, but fame and glory are guaranteed.

Costume judging is ultimately an art, rather than a science, but these are the general guidelines that will be used to assess each entry. Note that the costume is being assessed, rather than the person wearing it.

Preference for major awards will be given to costumes that are:

Related to the advertised theme of the masquerade and/or con
Nice pantomime cow. Why is it here?

Made for this particular masquerade and/or on Swancon debut.
This is a requirement for a major prize. While we all love recycling and seeing old favourites, the major prize is for new work in this arena.

Either a good character copy or an interesting original
Costumes may be cosplay-type copies of particular characters (e.g. Sailor Moon, Iron Man, Dr Who etc), extrapolated from the world of historical or fictional characters (e.g. medieval wenches, samurai warriors, generic Jedi etc), or completely original designs (e.g. aliens, dragons, fairies, vampires etc). If you claim to be a specific character, it should be recognisable--and it wouldn't hurt to bring along a picture to educate the non-fans-- but extreme accuracy is not required, nor sufficient for a win.

Made, assembled, and/or designed by a member of Swancon
Hired it? No major prize. Bought the whole thing off e-bay the day before? Unlikely. Got it made by a professional? We'll see; are they a member and standing next to you? This is a members-only competition, but there's room to breathe. Your Mum can help.

Made well or creatively
Safety pins are not a crime, but we'd like to see a certain amount of thought or effort go into it. Sometimes a good costume is assembled from ready-made components. It doesn't have to be sewn from scratch or perfectly tailored to be the best, but it helps if it all stays together for at least an hour. And doesn't kill you or innocent bystanders. That's important.

Imbued with X-, wow-, and/or ooh-factor
You may not be able to put a finger on it, but you'll know it when you see it.

Bonus points if the costume is:

A particularly nice effort and it's your first Swancon or first Masquerade attempt
Because we like to encourage new people.

Worn or presented well or creatively
You don't need to be an extrovert, but you should at least try to pose for photos, and give a twirl on request. Actually pretending to be the character adds to the fun of the evening, but please, keep it legal.

Worn with dedication
Gone to extra effort with hair, makeup, bodypaint, or major surgery to look Just Right? Good for you. Uh, did it hurt?

And finally, did you 'give it a go'?
Tried your best to make something ambitious but it didn't quite work out? Spent long hours making wings that ultimately sagged, a realistic but unwearable alien face-hugger that actually suffocated you, or space armour that dissolved after 10 minutes of photos? Tell the judges about your hours of effort. But please, don't cry.

On my honour

Honourable mentions with possible spot prizes are awarded as deserved, in categories to be determined on the night. The following "best of" are examples only:

  • Group
  • Child
  • Mask
  • Accessories
  • Workmanship
  • Funniest/wittiest
  • Scariest
  • Cutest
  • Presentation/characterisation
  • Shiniest