Masquerade Award Catgories

Competition Categories

Young Fan*

This category is open to all children under the age of 12. Costumes can be made by the child or an adult.


This category is for costumes that "re-create" costumes seen in movies, on TV, or in books. Costumes will be judged on how accurate they are. Please bring pictures (photocopies or scans, not originals) of the costume that you are re-creating for the judges to look at.

Science Fiction

This category is open to costumes loosely inspired by science fiction shows and movies and original costumes dealing with other planets, space travel, or technology.


This category is open to costumes loosely inspired by fantasy shows and movies and original costumes dealing with fantastic creatures (fairies, elves, honest politicians, etc.).

Showcase of Champions

This category is for costumers who have won two or more major awards (Best anything, Most anything, First Place) at any convention.


This category is for costumes featuring the imaginative extrapolation of Victorian-era fashions and technology, recalling the greatest dreams (and nightmares!) of the Industrial Revolution.


This category is open to costumes representing your favorite classic or newly-created Anime and Manga characters.

All contestants are reminded that Shore Leave Masquerade entries are traditionally short; usually under one minute in length. Please visit the "Rules" page for more details.

There will be First and Second place awards given in every category with 3 or more entrants. Category awards are judged on both presentation and costuming and/or makeup skills.

*Note: Young Fan awards will be presented immediately after the Young Fan competition.

Fan Judge Award

We will be continuing the Fan Judge program. The Fan Judge is a raffle for a chance to sit at the judge's table during the masquerade and to be present at the deliberations. The Fan Judge will not vote with the other judges, but will have his or her own award to present.

Raffle tickets will be sold at the Masquerade signup table for $1 a chance, with the proceeds going to benefit the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) Emergency Medical Fund. The winning number will be read at the beginning of the masquerade after the other judges have been introduced. This is a chance to help charity and get the best seat in the house! If you don't want to compete, come try your luck at becoming the Fan Judge!

Special Awards

In addition to the awards for each category, the following special awards will be available. Not all of these awards are guaranteed to be given out at any single masquerade.

Want to know more? See our Contestant Information for the FAQ, rules, and registration information, or Volunteer Information to see how to volunteer to help.

For other questions, contact Masquerade Director Thomas Atkinson.