Hello all! I'm Tanglwyst de Holloway, runner of the Masquerade!
TanglMermaid Cover shot

     I'm Tanglwyst de Holloway and I am the Masquerade Director for Westercon 72, NASFiC 2019, 1632 Minicon, & Manticon 2019 (Spikecon). I have judged over 200 competitions since 1985 and been involved in setting up over 500 Arts and Sciences competitions, displays, conventions, and demos. This is definitely the biggest competition I've done and I am excited to bring this to you!

Follow along and join us - our team is here to assist you! Fellow costume enthusiasts have created a step by step outline to guide you through the Masquerade and all the possibilities at our Spikecon costume events. 

(Rules blatantly stolen with permission from WorldCon 76. Many thanks to Sandy and Pierre Pettinger and John Hertz and everyone who worked on that Masquerade, as well as this one. Including edits by Jon Foster, Catherine MacDude.)


Masquerade Rules & Contestant Information 
Version 1.4.2
Last Revised: June 21, 2018, at Worldcon 76
Edited and Adapted for Spikecon - January 21, 2019
Please check back periodically for possible revisions/updates

For anything not included here, please check the Masquerade FAQ for further information, or if necessary, contact the Masquerade Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you require an interpreter or assistance please email our access team for help at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Contents Overview

  • Introduction from the Director (Below)
  • Masquerade Day
    • The Masquerade Green Room
    • Onstage - Halftime/Judges’ Deliberations - Awards
    • Photography

Introduction and Hello from the Director

    Our team is very happy to support and help any and all costumers that come our way. These guidelines will help you compete, enjoy the atmosphere, find a safe group of like-minded people who enjoy costuming in all its forms. 

     A little bit about the competition. We'll be using the International Costumer's Guild Guidelines and using categories for competitors. Costume contests on this level are a bit different and we want to make sure everyone understands what is expected. There might be a few differences based upon previous experiences.

     Cosplay costumers for comic cons look at costumes as a way to connect to their favorite characters; to be a part of fandom. However, original characters or book interpretations are not common. Mostly costumers do the impossible: translating ink and non-physics into a world that requires real stuff and actual physics, like making a Bayonetta cosplay entirely out of hair. Making a costume that is already imagined is difficult, especially when the person creating the visuals has never apparently worn clothes, let alone sewn them.

     Costumers who do a lot of original characters or interpretations from the written word or from their imaginations, are coming at it from a different place. They have no visuals to go from so they create them from descriptions alone. Whether you're creating the clothes from LOTR or Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire, one thing you never have to wonder about is if the worlds have gravity. Since physics are assumed, that lets the costumer not have to deal with that improbability.

     Because we want to be inclusive, we're listing the category descriptions to familiarize contestants with the process.

Important Fashion Tip: For costumes that are period recreations, anime, movie or tv, have reference photos with which to compare the finished product. Written documentation is also useful, though it should be brief. Documentation is very useful if you deviate from the original costume for technical, availability or cost reason

     For original characters and non-visual inspiration such as Steampunk, costumes from books, or something straight out of your imagination, let the judges know in your documentation about your inspiration, techniques, and backstory for the character.

     Don't forget to contact us at any time for questions or help. You can email our team pre-convention at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or find us on site at our masquerade registration table in the Horizon Lobby of the Davis Conference Center. 

We look forward to seeing you in July!