Cosplay Contest Info

Registration Deadline: FRIDAY, AUGUST 23RD, 2024 at 11:59 pm

Contest Registration Info

Everything You Need to Know


Calling all cosplayers and creators! This is the official rule set for the 2024 FanX® Cosplay Contest. This will give you all the information as to how our contest works, as well as some frequently asked questions at the end. Applications for the contest will open on May 23rd and close on Friday, AUGUST 23, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.* Please read the rule set and see how we run our contest to make sure you’re ready to apply when the contest opens for registration.

The FanX Cosplay Contest consists of 3 phases, outlined in the tabs below. These include details about cosplay categories, judging criteria, and even more information to keep you in the know about the contest! At the end of the contest, we will award cash prizes to 13 different entries: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each category, special prizes for the Best Armor, Best Needlework, Best Storytelling on stage, and the coveted “Best in Show” award!


Novice:1st Place: $200 | 2nd Place: $150 | 3rd Place: $100
Intermediate:  1st Place: $350 | 2nd Place: $300 | 3rd Place: $250
Groups: 1st Place: $500 | 2nd Place: $450 | 3rd Place: $ 400
Masters: 1st Place: $500 | 2nd Place: $450 | 3rd Place: $400

Specialty Awards:

Best Armor: $500  – Shows a superior level of armor craftsmanship
Best Needlework: $500 – Shows a superior level of textile/needlework
Best Storytelling: $500 – Best on-stage performance
BEST IN SHOW: $5,000 Cosplay with the highest score overall 

Please note:
  1. Cosplay outfits that have been placed in our contest in the past cannot be entered again. Once a cosplay outfit has been placed in any category, it cannot be submitted to compete in another one of our contests.
  2. You can create your contestant account with the media gallery link and STILL WORK ON YOUR COSPLAY! It does NOT need to be completed when you submit it; just by the deadline (August 23, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.). Once the registration deadline passes, we will then look at each entry to score the final product.
  3. If you have any issues with submitting your cosplay, please be sure to notify us at [email protected] BEFORE the deadline. Nothing after the deadline will be accepted

* If accepted, you must have a ticket to FanX Comic and Pop Culture Convention to participate in the contest. Must also agree and understand that your image (photo or video) may be edited, copied, exhibited, published, or distributed and waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein your likeness appears. Additionally, you waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of your image or recording.*


Phase 1: Online Submissions

Submit your application via the ‘Cosplay Contest Submissions’ link above.

Registration for the contest closes on FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2024 at 11:59 pm

This, along with a link to your media gallery, will be considered your “Online Submission.” You cannot submit an entry to the contest without a valid media gallery link. This will be considered your “Online Submission” – think of this as a preliminary round!

Media Gallery:

Please read carefully – this process has changed 

  • When you create your contestant account, a media gallery of your cosplay will be requested. This media gallery should include:
    • A reference image of the character you’re cosplaying
    • Clearly labeled photos and/or videos of your final, completed cosplay.
    • A folder with “work in progress” pictures and videos showing you working on this cosplay throughout the process
  • Make sure that your album is publicly viewable for all who have the link.
    • While the media gallery link is required to complete the application form, you can always add it to your gallery until registration for the contest closes.
    • Recommended sites to use for your gallery, are:
      • Google Drive
      • Box
      • Dropbox
      • Facebook
      • Feel free to use any other media site (except Instagram/Pinterest) that allows you to create a full album where ALL your media can be seen in one place and is accessible to the public.

Cosplay Categories:


  • Novice:
    • Has not won or placed in a contest yet.
    • Has entered no more than 3 contests.
  • Intermediate:
    • Entered more than 3 contests OR has won/placed in a contest before.
  • Master: Is described as but not limited to:
    • Cosplay craft is close to or at a professional level.
    • Takes on commissions for cosplays or props for others.
    • Makes some kind of income cosplaying or creating cosplays.
    • Has entered, won, and/or placed in multiple contests.
  • Group – Consisting of 2 or more cosplayers wanting to enter together. Groups will be judged based on the highest skill-level cosplayer in the group. Example: If you have a group of mostly Intermediates and one Master level cosplayer, then all will be judged as Masters.

Online Submission Scoring:

When the registration deadline for the contest (8/23/24) has passed…

  1. Our pre-judging panel will review everyone’s cosplay via the media gallery link you provided in your submission
  2. Our judging panel will look at each cosplay separately so that there is no persuasion by another judge on the panel; therefore, each cosplay is given a fair chance.
  3. The top scores in each category will move past the online portion and into the contest.
  4. EVERYONE who registers for the contest will be notified whether or not they made it in as a finalist on September 9, 2024. We usually have numerous submissions, please be patient as we try to give each entry the proper amount of attention. Make sure to add these email addresses to your contacts so that you don’t lose your notifications to the spam folder: [email protected] and [email protected]

*Contestants who advance in the contest will have their scores reset back to 0 – because as a finalist, they now qualify for the “In-Person” and “On Stage” judging portions of the contest.

Phase 2: Finalist Pre-Judging

Cosplayers with top scores in the online submission phase will advance in the contest as finalists and be eligible for the “In-Person Judging” and “On Stage” portions of the contest. They will receive additional details at that time via email with information for the rest of the process, such as important times/locations. Make sure to add these email addresses to your contacts so that you don’t lose your notifications to the spam folder: [email protected] and [email protected]

Finalist cosplayers need to come in FULL cosplay to the “In-Person” judging. Please be mindful of the FanX® weapon policy to ensure that your cosplay accessories are permitted into the venue (ALL cosplay weapons must go through our checkpoint and have an official safety sticker from our security team). Here is the link to our weapons policy in case you missed it.

In-Person Judging:

  • When: “In-Person” judging will take place on the Saturday morning of FanX, September 28th, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
    • Novices: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Intermediate: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • Groups: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Masters:1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
  • What: This is where our judging panel gets to see your cosplay up close. It is wise to come prepared with an idea of what you want to point out to them about your work. They may ask various questions that pertain to but are not limited to:
    • The creation process
    • Techniques that were used
    • Materials used-and why they were chosen
    • The character
  • Time Limit: In the past, it’s been 1-1.5 minutes per cosplayer, with 2 minutes for Masters. At this moment we cannot guarantee a specific amount of time in front of the judges, as online registration is still open and we need to make sure we can accommodate all of the competitors that will need to be seen.
  • Scoring: Our judging panel will score each cosplay based on the following criteria:
    • Craftsmanship Clean and straight seams, no glue marks, rough or mirror-smooth, basically how well your cosplay is made.
    • Originality/Accuracy If the cosplay is original or a mashup you’ll be judged on originality. If you are recreating a character, we will look at how closely you recreated the character.
    • Level of Difficulty This is based on the difficulty of techniques used to create the cosplay. Detail, effort, and time put into the cosplay are all taken into consideration. Judges will consider your category of difficulty; a “Novice,” won’t be held to the same difficulty standard as a “Master.”

*Travel Tip – Please make sure that you have a plan A and a plan B for getting to the venue in time (just in case anything happens) – don’t forget to take parking into consideration! We would hate for you to miss out on this part of your scoring for the contest. If for some reason you cannot or do not make it to “In Person” judging, you are still eligible to go onstage and receive your “Onstage” score meaning that you can still be seen onstage the night of the contest, but you will want to be early for call time if that is the case.

Phase 3: On-stage Performance

We feel that a large portion of the art form of cosplay is embracing the essence of the character/personality that you are cosplaying. Cosplayers who qualified for the contest will showcase their cosplays in front of the largest cosplay contest audience in our state and receive their “On Stage” scores by our judging panel. Awards will be distributed at the end of the contest.

  • When: September 28, 2024 from 7 – 9 p.m.
    • Call time for all finalists will be 6 p.m.
  • Where: Grand Ballroom of the Salt Palace Convention Center

  • On-Stage Performance
    • We expect to notify all finalist contestants on September 9, 2024, so that they can have their performance prepared in time.
    • Every qualified contestant will have up to 1 minute to showcase their cosplay on stage.
  • Scoring Criteria:
    • How the cosplayer displays their cosplay on stage.
    • How prepared the cosplayer is for the performance – we encourage cosplayers to have pre-planned choreography or blocking.
    • Confidence that cosplayer shows on stage (unless of course, the character they are portraying is a nervous character and that’s how the cosplayer should seem)
  • Contestants can use their time on stage as they wish – how efficiently you utilize the time given to you is another part of the judging process.

*If you are not in the Group category and you have someone helping you or acting against you on stage, that person must NOT be in cosplay. If possible, please have them in all black. This is so that the focus can be on the competitor and not on another person on stage.*

How Winners Are Chosen:

    • The “Onstage” score will be added to “In-Person” scores, which is how we get the total for each cosplayer or group entry.
    • In the case of top-scoring ties per category, the contestants will be reviewed by our judges who will determine the final rankings.
    • At the end of the contest, we will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each category along with special prizes for the Best Armor, Best Needlework, Best Storytelling on stage, and an overall winner, which is the highest scoring cosplay in the contest, called “Best In Show!”


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