Have you spent the last year fine tuning your cosplay skills while in quarantine? Ready to bust out onto the Main Stage in a gorgeous handcrafted cosplay and show us what you’ve got in the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest? Is your kid running around the house like a maniac dressed as Batman or Elsa, and you just know they will really shine if they could only be in the Awesome Con Kids Cosplay Parade? When it comes to cosplay, there’s something for every level and age of cosplayer at Awesome Con.

Attention previous Awesome Con Cosplay Contest applicants: Previous applications will not roll over. You will need to reapply to be in the Awesome Con 2021 Cosplay Contest. We apologize for any inconvenience


The Awesome Con Cosplay Contest is happening Saturday, August 21, 2021!

Incredible handmade costumes spanning the worlds of comics, movies, TV, web series, anime, books, and video games – as well as original characters inspired by these themes – will be center stage during the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest! This incredible 2-hour performance on Saturday night of Awesome Con highlights creativity, craftsmanship, charisma, and of course, cosplay.

Applications close July 16, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET!

How does the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest work?

All contestants will be judged on the quality of their costume as well as their stage presence – so submit your most amazing handmade cosplay, and be prepared to ham it up on stage! Each contestant will go on stage individually (or together if part of a group), and strike two or three awesome poses, as our emcee reads the entrant’s cosplay description, and then the contestant will exit. No speaking or individualization of music is allowed during your performance so make sure to say it all with your body language! ALL COSTUME CONTEST ENTRANTS MUST PRE-REGISTER VIA THE BELOW APPLICATION. THERE IS NO ONSITE REGISTRATION. For more info, please email

So what are the categories?

The competition is split into five categories, and you will only be competing in one of these categories:

    1. YOUTH (Ages 11 – 15)
    2. TAILORS (These cosplays feature needlework, and are made primarily of cloth, fabric, spandex, etc. with an emphasis on tailoring.)
    3. WARRIORS (These cosplays feature molding or shaping using acrylic, EVA foam, Worbla, Wonderflex, cardboard, chainmail, and more, with an emphasis on armor.)
    4. TINKERS (These cosplays feature mechanical/moving parts, electronics, lights, etc. with an emphasis on hardware.)
    5. BEYOND HUMAN (These cosplays are larger-than-life. They enclose the maker and extend head, height, limbs etc. by (at least) one foot in length or more. This is a cosplay that’s REALLY BIG.)

Many costumes incorporate needlework PLUS Worbla, FX, etc. All WILL be taken into account, but you should enter in the category that fits where the MAJORITY of time and work was focused. Final category placement will be at the discretion of the judges and contest organizers.

What are the rules and requirements of the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest?

  • Contestants must be 11 years of age or older to compete. Contestants under 11 may enter our costume parade in Awesome Con Jr. (More information available below.)
  • Our Cosplay Contest requires handmade, original costumes. Sorry, but store bought costumes cannot be entered into the competition! The costume must be of original construction or show significant modification to the original materials. At least 60% of your costume must not have been purchased.
  • All Cosplay Contest Competitors must be Awesome Con attendees, and badges will be checked before competing.
  • If your cosplay has previously won in competition at the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest, it cannot be re-entered.
  • By entering the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest, you agree to allow us to reuse photos you provide for marketing purposes and promotion as well as future events and will be asked to sign a release form if your application is accepted.

Here are some other important things to keep in mind when applying and creating your cosplay!

  • You can apply as many times as you would like with as many costumes as you would like, but please note that only one costume can be accepted into the contest per person.
  • In the application, you will be asked for a 100-word cosplay description to be read aloud. This may describe the details of the cosplay or provide a story about the character being portrayed. You may offer details about the construction process, materials, number of work hours, or anything that might impress the judges and fans. We reserve the right to edit introduction material for time and content.
  • In the application, you will be asked to provide links to photos of your cosplay. In-progress images are okay, but please remember that the quality of this image is a part of how we judge your application! A good quality image can absolutely help your application to be approved. You must also submit a reference color photo of the character you are portraying if you wish for accuracy to be taken into account during your judging if the judges are not familiar with the character.
  • You are responsible for all expenses incurred in order to compete in the Awesome Con Cosplay Contest.
  • Please note cosplays must comply with Awesome Con’s Cosplay and Costume Weapons Policies.
  • Please note cosplays and performers must comply with Awesome Con’s Anti Harassment Policy. This means no profanity, hate speech, religious, political, or otherwise inflammatory messages are allowed.

And here’s some things you’ll need to know for the actual performance itself!

  • All contestants must be available for pre-judging Saturday afternoon before the show. The time and location will be disclosed to you upon your application’s acceptance. The entire pre-judging process takes about 2-4 hours for all contestants but you will only be needed for a portion of that time – maybe 15-20 minutes.
  • All contestants must arrive where the contest is being held at least one hour before our contest begins.
  • No specific character music, videos, or skits will be allowed during your performance or pre-judging.
  • You must be able to walk on/off stage and maneuver freely in your costume without assistance unless medically necessary.


Stay tuned for more information on prizes!


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As part of Awesome Con Jr., Awesome Con is excited to bring back the Kids Cosplay Parade! We know your kids have been cooped up for too long, and the Cosplay Parade is the perfect chance for them to show off that pent up energy – in cosplay! The parade will take place at 12:00 PM on Saturday, August 21, and 12:00 PM Sunday, August 22 at the Awesome Con Jr. Stage.

How does it work?

All kids 10 or under and their parents are encouraged to participate. Any costume is eligible as long as it complies with Awesome Con’s Cosplay and Costume Weapons Policies.

Parents may walk with their children if their children do not wish to go alone.

There is no judging as part of our Kids Costume Parade. All participants 10 and under receive a prize!

All parade participants must be Awesome Con attendees, and badges will be checked before the parade begins.

To take part in the Kids Costume Parade, you must sign-up in-person at the Awesome Con Jr. stage 30 minutes before the parade. The first 30 kids (and their parents) who apply will be accepted to take part.

Got it? Great! We can’t wait to see you at the parade!