2024 CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONAL

Are You A Champion?

The Championship Invitational occurs once every 3 years. Any costumer who has won an award in an International Competition is invited to apply. Applications open on 3/10/2024 and close on 4/1/2024. Applicants will receive their acceptance letters within 72 hours of submitting their applications during this time period. Invited Competitors will present a character from the 2024 Championship Invitational Character Selection List. There are 100 characters on this list for selection. When making application, please select 5 characters that you would like to present, avoiding characters already listed as "CLAIMED." The Championship Invitational will replace the Invitational Division in the years that it occurs. Those wishing to compete in the Invitational Division in 2025 may submit their applications here.  Please read the Rules & Rubric below before applying.

View the 2024 championship invitational
character selection list
apply for the championship invitational

INVITATIONAL DIVISION RULES & RUBRIC

INVITATIONAL DIVISION RULES

1. You must have a valid membership to Dragon Con for the year that you are invited to compete in order to compete.  Dragon Con memberships are not included in the invitation to compete.

2. Invitations are sent between January 15th and February 15th each year that is not a Champions year.  The Champions Invitational is held every third year, and invitations are sent out by April 1st. Costumers must fill out the RSVP form and state the character that they have selected to compete within 14 days of the receipt of their invitation.  If there are unclaimed invitations, an additional round of invitations will be sent.  The list of costumers and characters will be released on the Page to Stage website and social media on or before June 1 each year.

3. Documentation/build books must be submitted in person at the competition during check in. Electronic copies cannot be considered. Documentation/build books will be returned to costumers immediately after the competition results are announced and may be collected from the Judges table.4. Each contestant will be given 1 minute to present a skit or musical performance with recorded audio that will occur immediately after the Emcees read the character description and contestant's description of the methods used to create the costume.  Contestant descriptions of the costume creation and audio tracks to be used during the Presentation section must be submitted by August 22nd, 2024 at 11:59pm to fantasy@dragoncon.org with the Subject Line:  Invitational Contestant Description & Audio:  (Contestant Name) (Character Name).      
          A. Contestant Description:  Descriptions must be submitted in a Word document format with no more than 500 words in 12 point Times New Roman font.  The description must focus on the methods used to create the costume.                  B. Contestant Audio:  Contestant audio must be 1 minute or less, in mp3 format, labeled/named with the contestant and character name, and cannot include political statements or vulgar language.

5. You must follow Dragon Con safety protocols in all contest areas and during the contest.  Masks, PPE, DME, and service dogs are permitted and do not require costuming or adornment to use in the invitational.  The judges will not assume that the equipment is a part of the costume and will only judge the equipment if it is costumed or adorned AND the costumer requests that the equipment be considered.

6. Costumers who are invited to compete in the invitational may not compete with the same or a second costume in the open divisions.  If a costumer was issued an invitation and declined their RSVP, they may enter in the open divisions if there are spaces remaining but will be required to compete under the rules for the open division.

7. No costume is no costume.  A wearable prop is not a costume. Nudity is not permitted.

8. Cosplay is not consent.  Contestants violating other contestants' personal space or found to be in contact with other contestants physically without their consent will be removed from the competition.

9. No profanity or vulgar language is allowed on stage including messages on signs, props, or costume pieces.

10. No political or religious statements on costumes, props, set pieces, in contestant descriptions or audio, or spoken from the stage are permitted.

11. Use of makeup or alteration to skin pigment must not replicate natural skin tones of another human race.12. No use of flash pots, smoke effects, open flame, projectiles, or pointing prop weapons at judges or the audience is permitted.  All prop weapons must be appropriately peace-bonded and approved through Dragon Con Safety before they may be considered by the judges.

13. Costumes must be self-contained and must fit within a reasonable amount of space within the room/stage area.  No more than one handler is permitted backstage for large costumes.  Page to Stage Costume Contest cannot provide handlers to assist with large costumes.

14. Contestants must arrive and check in between 5:00pm and 5:30pm.  If a contestant has not checked in by 5:30pm, they will be removed from the competition.  You may email fantasy@dragoncon.org if you require a check in time after 5:30pm as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

15. Requests for a reasonable accommodation that would permit a costumer with a disability to compete can be emailed to fantasy@dragoncon.org.  The Costume Contest Coordinator, Fantasy Literature Track Director, and/or Dragon Con Disability Services will follow up on all written requests before the convention.

16. The Judges' decisions are final and absolute.

17. If an invitation is sent to a costumer/cosplayer who is part of a known costuming/cosplaying team, other members of the team may compete with the invitee but must RSVP on the same form and select a character from the character list. So long as the stage presentation is done in a way that makes sense to the audience and the judges, there will be no penalties for choosing characters from different literary works.

INVITATIONAL DIVISION RUBRIC
In order to compete, the invitational costume must be:
1. A character from the character list for the current competition year; in championship years this list is expanded to 100 characters from the previous years' character lists with additions for the championship year;

2. At least 70% constructed or modified.  Purchased elements may make up the remaining 30%. Purchased items that are used as a part of the 70% must be heavily modified so as not to be recognizable from their purchased state by the Costumer.

3. You may use costumes you have previously created if they meet the following criteria:      
             A. You may not have competed and won a major award (Best in Show, Best Division) in an international competition in the costume unless the costume has been modified more than 50% from it's state when it competed previously, in which case the build book for the original state and for the modified state must be provided at check in;      
             B. The costume must be an interpretation of a character on the character list for the current competition year, unless you have an invitation extension due to extenuating circumstances for the previous year;

4. The costume will be judged on three elements equally:  construction, interpretation of the character, and presentation.             A. Construction will be judged based on documentation/build book provided to the judges at the competition and the inspection of the physical costume;
            B. Interpretation of the character will be judged based upon the description provided on the character list and the accuracy to the description represented in the costume;
            C. Presentation will be judged onstage.  Each contestant will be given 1 minute to present a skit or musical performance with recorded audio that will occur immediately after the Emcees read the character description and contestant's description of the methods used to create the costume.  Contestant descriptions of the costume creation and audio tracks to be used during the Presentation section must be submitted by August 22nd, 2023 at 11:59pm to fantasy@dragoncon.org with the Subject Line:  Invitational Contestant Description & Audio:  (Contestant Name) (Character Name).              
                         1. Contestant Description:  Descriptions must be submitted in a Word document format with no more than 150 words in 12-point Times New Roman font.  The description must focus on the methods used to create the costume.              
                         2. Contestant Audio:  Contestant audio must be 1 minute or less, in mp3 format, labeled/named with the contestant and character name, and cannot include political statements or vulgar language.

INVITATIONAL DIVISION FAQ

How do you choose the costumers who receive an invitation?

Costumers are chosen based on their previous costumes and cosplays as seen on social media, in published collections, in costume contests, or costuming venues at fandom conventions over the course of the previous year.  If you are interested in competing and do not believe that your work has been viewed at previous conventions, you may send a statement of interest in competing in the invitational along with 3 to 4 photos that are most representative of your costuming work to fantasy@dragoncon.org for consideration. In a championship year, applications are taken based upon the characters that the costumer wishes to present and the committee selects competitors from those applications.

Does my status as a novice, journeyman/intermediate, or master/advanced guarantee or prevent my selection for the invitational division?

The invitational division is not based upon your current division based upon your previous achievements in any other division.  The selection committee evaluates each cosplayer who was nominated or applied individually and selects them based upon their own individual merits.

I have received an invitation, but do I have to do one of those 40 characters?

Yes.  You can select any of the 40 character that has not already been registered in the invitational by another invited costumer.  Invitations go out between the 1st and the 30th of January each year, and you have until February 7th to accept the invitation and register.  Second round invitations, if required, will be sent out for any invitations not claimed by February 8th, and will have until February 14th to register with their chosen available character. In a championship year, the character list is expanded to 100 characters selected from previous years with new additions for the competition year.

Are the Judges for the Invitational Division the same Judges for the Page to Stage Costume Contest?

No.  The invitational division has a separate set of judges with expertise in costuming, literature, and performance.

What is the format for the invitational division?  

The invitational division has a different format from the open divisions for the Page to Stage Costume Contest. Documentation/Build Books for the Page to Stage Invitational Division may be presented on site during check in.  The documentation will be provided to the judges, who will review it during pre-judging and use it for reference while the character is on stage.  Pre-judging, however, is limited to 3 minutes per contestant (and will be strictly timed) to discuss their interpretation of the character that they are presenting and their choices in costume design.

Can I compete virtually?

Not in 2024.  Virtual competition will be evaluated each year by the Page to Stage staff, and should the need ever arise, we are prepared to hold a virtual contest if necessary. A Dragon Con membership is required to compete in any contest year.