Welcome to the Norwescon Masquerade!

We would like to invite you to participate in the Norwescon masquerade. The Norwescon masquerade is open to all convention members of all costuming skill levels and is held on Saturday night of the con. It will be following the International Costumers’ Guild guidelines for rules and skill levels.


Registration information for the Norwescon 43 Episode II Masquerade will be published in early 2021.

Masquerade Judging

Presentation judging is mandatory. It consists of your presentation on stage. It judges everything from your costume’s appearance from stage, to how you act and move, to your music and voiceovers, etc. The Judges will give awards divided by skill levels and excellence of performance within those different skill levels.

Workmanship judging is optional. It takes place in the masquerade backstage area before the show begins. It allows the workmanship judges to consider exceptional accomplishment in crafting costumes, props, and accessories. This is the place where exquisite attention to detail may be recognized. Re-creation costumes (a costume whose design is copied from a film, television show, theatrical presentation, book illustration, comic, work of art, or other medium) must provide a color picture of the original for the workmanship judges. Let your Den Parent know if you want your costume and/or props and accessories judged for workmanship.

Norwescon Masquerade Skill Divisions

Anyone may choose to compete in a higher skill division. Group presentations will be judged based on the highest skill division of the individual members.

Rising Star is for any contestant 13 years of age or younger who is not part of an adult group. Rising Star costumes must be made by the entrant with no more than a minimum amount of supervisory help. An adult-made costume may not be entered in this category and should instead be entered in the appropriate skill division of the adult.

Novice is for any contestant who has not previously won an award for a costume in any masquerade, or who has won a maximum of two awards in the Novice division for different costumes at a world-class convention masquerade such as World Con or Costume Con, or at a regional convention masquerade such as Norwescon or Westercon.

Journeyman is for any contestant who has won a maximum of three awards for different costumes in the Novice division at a world-class or regional convention masquerade.

Master is for any contestant who has won four or more awards for different costumes in the Journeyman or Master division, or who has won one or more Best in Show awards, at a regional or world-class convention masquerade. Professional costumers must enter the Master division.

The masquerade director may change your skill division if needed.


  • Best in Show
  • Best in Class (Rising Star, Novice, Journeyman, Master)
  • Best Workmanship (Rising Star, Novice, Journeyman, Master)
  • Best Presentation (Rising Star, Novice, Journeyman, Master)
  • Director’s Choice
  • Judge’s Choice
  • Best Use of Theme

Norwescon Masquerade Rules

Please review these rules carefully. Violation of any rule will disqualify an entry. Please help us make the masquerade safe and enjoyable.

  1. Never surprise the Masquerade Director.
  2. No jumping off or throwing things off the stage.
  3. No cultural appropriation. Cultures are not costumes.
  4. All weapons must be peace bonded except as needed for stage presentation.
  5. The masquerade is PG-13. Lack of costume is not a costume.
  6. Purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition. Credit must be given for all makeup and costume construction.
  7. Costumes can be no longer than twelve feet, no taller than ten feet, and no wider than six feet.
  8. Sound accompaniment should be included with your application. Please provide high quality audio files that are ready to be played as-is, without additional editing. Files from iTunes or Amazon MP3 are acceptable and will meet our technical requirements. If you rip your own music from CD or other sources, please use the general guidelines below.
    General Digital Music Files Formats Accepted
    MP3: 256k bitrate minimum, 16-bit sampling minimum
    WAV: 44.1 Khz or 48 Khz, 16-bit per sample, stereo preferred
    FLAC: Same as WAV
    Other formats: Use the highest quality settings possible. We can convert most formats if needed. If for some reason we cannot, we will contact you.
  9. Graphic accompaniment should be included with your application. Please provide 1920×1080. Video should be full HD video. Still images should be sized for HD.
    General Graphic File Formats accepted:
    Still Images: JPEG, PNG
    Video Files: MP4 preferred.
    If you have questions please contact us 14 days in advance.
  10. No messy substances – wet, dry, or oily – that might ruin another’s contestant or make the stage dangerous are permitted (this includes loose glitter).
  11. No flash photography is permitted while contestants are on stage or in the backstage area. A designated photo area will be provided for contestant photos after the masquerade.
  12. Last but not least, the Masquerade Director has the final say.

Default Tech

  1. Lights black with spotlight on MC, ninjas set any props.
  2. MC introduces the contestant.
  3. Lights & sound up on the contestant’s entrance: MC reads dialogue if not on accompaniment track.
  4. Sound & lights fade as contestants exits; MC announces contestant info & ninjas strike props.

Masquerade Stage Layout

NWC42 Masquerade Stage Layout

Norwescon Masquerade Videos

Video of the Norwescon 42 Masquerade and many earlier Norwescon Masquerades are available for purchase. Please contact Alan Halfhill directly with inquiries.

DVD – $15; Blu-Ray – $20

Postal address:
Alan Halfhill
P.O. Box 312
Carlsborg, WA 98324-0312

Paypal address: halfmac at mac.com


The Masquerade is looking for two types of Volunteers: assistants and performers.

The assistants help enable the show to go off without a problem. There is a need for Stage Ninjas (must be 16+ yrs.), Den Parents, Ushers, Door Guards, etc. If you would like to help, please contact Volunteers through our contact page and they will pass your information along to the Masquerade.

The performers are up on stage showing off the costumes that make up our show. If you have a costume you would like to present, one that will impress the audience and judges, this is the option for you. No experience required and there is time to ask questions and practice in advance of the event.

Come one, come all! Let us make this one of the best Masquerades ever!

Questions or comments? Please contact Special Events through our contact page.