Welcome to the Masquerade!


Costuming and cosplay have been an inherent part of SF/F fandom since almost the very beginning. The first WorldCon, in 1939, had fans in costume. For some of us, it’s the primary reason why we attend SF/F conventions.  And the great thing is, costumers can be of all ages and skill levels.

It is with that in mind that we invite you to participate in OryCon’s costume contest!

As the all-new crew for 2016, the costume contest – aka masquerade – we invite the costumers and cosplayers of OryCon to strut their stuff on our stage, Saturday night. Interested? Read on.


When And Where

7:00PM Saturday November 19th, in Salon E.

The green room, in Salon D, will open at 5:30PM. This space will act as backstage and a secure changing area for masquerade entrants. When you check in, you'll learn where your place is in the show's lineup. Participants must check in by 6:30PM or they will be dropped from the event.

Let’s put that in bigger letters: Contestants must check-in to the Green Room by 6:30PM on the day of the contest or they will be dropped from the lineup.


Friday Night Q&A

The masquerade crew will be hosting a Q&A session at 7PM Friday night. We will be glad to answer your questions re: entering the masquerade and will accept your entry forms at that time. Attendance is optional, but recommended.


Mandatory Rehearsal / Tech Check

There will be a tech rehearsal / pre-meeting from 4PM to 6:00PM in Salon E. You do not have to check in at Green Room to participate in the rehearsal, as Green Room won't be available until 5:30.

The rehearsal is your only opportunity to test your music / pre-recorded soundtrack, practice your presentation, and ask last-minute questions of the crew. Attendance is mandatory for all contestants, but you do NOT have to stay for the entire two hours. We’ll be handling things on a drop-in basis.


About Pre-Recorded Sound

There will be NO live-mikes on the stage. Any dialogue/music must be pre-recorded and brought to the rehearsal so that the DJ may test the file and copy it over. You can bring your files on CD-ROM or a USB drive. Please use the MP3 format for your recording and, if possible, also include a copy in WAV format. Gremlins happen and sometimes, computers get finicky. We will not accept sound files after 5:45PM on the day of the event.


Photo Studio

There will be a photo studio in Salon C, starting at 5:30PM. The studio will be open to all photographers wishing to take advantage of the space, and an OryCon staff photographer will also be present.


How To Enter

Download and fill out the entry form and drop it off via any of the following means: bring it to the Friday night Masquerade Q&A (7PM), or drop it off at the Information Table by 4PM on Saturday, or bring it with you to the rehearsal. Blank entry forms will also be available at the Information Table on Friday and Saturday.

Please note that we're not accepting entry forms before the convention starts, nor will we accept any entry forms after 4:00PM on Saturday.


Limit on Number of Entries

Space will be limited! We cannot accommodate more than 25 entries. A group counts as a single entry.

Space will be allotted on a first-come, first serve basis, so turn in your entry form as early as possible at the convention. If we receive more than 25 entries, the extras will go on a waiting list in the order received. We can't guarantee that any wait-listed entries will make it on to the stage but last-minute drop-outs do happen and you might get lucky.


What Are The Competive Classes? What Does That Even Mean?

Competing is optional. You may choose to present your costume as “exhibition only”, or subject only to workmanship judging or only to presentation judging. The choice is yours.

There are three classes: young fan, novice and open. Choose the one most appropriate to your skill and experience.

  • Young Fan – Anyone under 13 must enter in this category, unless they are a part of a group entry. Please note: Young Fans will be scheduled first in the lineup. 
  • Novice – Suitable for participants who have never entered a masquerade before, or who have not won any awards. Honorable mentions count as an award.
  • Open – Anyone may compete in this category – even novices, if you’re feeling confident. If you have won an award at any regional SF/F convention in the past, you must place yourself into the open category. Honorable mentions count as an award.

If you're still unsure about which class to enter, consult this handy flow-chart. If that doesn't help, drop us a line via masquerade [at] orycon.org or bring your questions to the Q&A on Friday night.


Nervous About Entering?

That’s okay, we’re nervous, too! While it’s our first time running the costume contest at OryCon, members of the crew have run costuming events at many other conventions, including DragonCon, Gallifrey One, BayCon, Chicago TARDIS, BeyondCon and Rose City Comic Con.

Still nervous? We’ve written something for you: What makes for a great masquerade entry.



  • All entrants must be a badged attendee (or panelist) at OryCon 38. 
  • You must submit an entry form by the deadline specified in order to participate.
  •  You must abide by the policies of OryCon as detailed in the program book and online. 
  • If your entry features a weapon of any kind, it must be concealed as it is transported to/from the green room. See the convention rules in the program for more information.
  •  This is an all-ages show. Please keep the content and language family-friendly.
  • Costumes featuring materials that can stain or cause a slip hazard are not permitted. (aka “The Peanut Butter Rule”)
  • No open flame on stage. (There’s a story behind that one, too.
  • "No costume is no costume". No nudity on stage.
  •  The masquerade director reserves the right to deny an entry for any reason. She hopes she won’t have to.



If you have any questions or concerns you want answered before the convention, please email the director at masquerade [at] orycon.org (masquerade [at] orycon.org)