It’s time for the 2016 Costume Contest!

Take Back Halloween 2016 Costume Contest

It’s here, everybody: our 5th annual costume contest! It’s still the same lo-fi contest it’s always been, but this year we’ve added a separate professional division for you cosplay types with your latex and blowtorches and whatnot. For everybody else, haul out your helmets made from tinfoil roasting pans! Send your photos to contest@takebackhalloween.org, and we’ll upload all the entries to our 2016 Costume Contest Album on our Facebook page.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, November 6, 2016.

What we’re looking for: costumes that fit into our own costume categories here on the website. That means a goddess or mythological figure, a great queen, a notable historical person, or a glamorous star. No generic costumes and no copyrighted characters, please. To get a sense of what we like, the best thing you can do is look at our contest winners from prior years:

2015 Costume Contest winners
2014 Costume Contest winners
2013 Costume Contest winners
2012 Costume Contest winner

Here are the prize categories for this year:

Adult Division

Best Goddess or Mythological Figure Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Queen Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Notable Woman Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Glamour Grrl Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Realization of a Take Back Halloween Design = $50 Amazon gift certificate (this prize is about faithfully recreating one of our specific designs here on the website)

Grand Prize for Best Overall = $100 Amazon gift certificate

Junior Division

(No Glamour Grrl category for juniors, because reasons.)

Best Goddess or Mythological Figure Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate

Best Queen Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate

Best Notable Woman Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate

Best Realization of a Take Back Halloween Design = $25 Amazon gift certificate (this prize is about faithfully recreating one of our specific designs here on the website)

Grand Prize for Best Overall = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Professional Division (all ages)

What do we mean by professional? Basically we’re just trying to make sure folks can compete at their own level. So if either #1 or #2 applies, please submit your entry in the Professional Division:

  1. (for existing costumes): Your costume has been exhibited at a cosplay convention or awarded a prize in a cosplay contest; or it is a professional costume used for Renaissance Faire performances; or it is a professional stage costume used for a theatrical performance.
  2. (for newly constructed costumes): You are a professional cosplayer, Renaissance Faire performer, or theatrical costumer, and the costume you are entering exhibits a professional skill level commensurate with the uses outlined in #1.

Best Goddess or Mythological Figure Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Queen Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Notable Woman Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Glamour Grrl Costume = $50 Amazon gift certificate

Best Realization of a Take Back Halloween Design = $50 Amazon gift certificate (this prize is about faithfully recreating one of our specific designs here on the website)

Grand Prize for Best Overall = $100 Amazon gift certificate

Special 2016 Division

We’ve created a couple of special categories for costumes we’d really like to see this year. These are open to everybody, though if we get a lot of submissions we may create Adult, Junior, and Professional subdivisions.

Best Madam President Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
In honor of the first U.S. presidential election with a woman at the top of a major party ticket, we’d love to see some costumes celebrating the women throughout American history who have thrown their hat in the ring. You can dress up as anybody from Victoria Woodhull (the first woman to run for president) to Shirley Chisholm (this blogger’s childhood hero!) to Hillary Clinton (pantsuit. wear a pantsuit). There are a bunch more too — Patsy Mink, Belva Lockwood, Margaret Chase Smith, just to name a few.

Best Future TBH Goddess/Mythological Costume = $25 Amazon gift certificate
We are planning to add some more costume designs in our Goddess category next season, but in the meantime we’re throwing the floor open for your ideas. If you’ve created a costume for a mythological figure we haven’t done yet (Bastet? Morgan le Fay? Juno? Chang’e?) and it’s a design we could adapt for Take Back Halloween, send in the pictures along with a description of exactly how you put it together.

General Rules

1. Your costume must fall into one of our four categories: a notable woman from history, a queen, a glamorous star, a goddess or mythological figure.
2. Your entry photograph(s) should show the costume in full, and should be clear and well lit. Good photographs help the judging, so we suggest you try to avoid distracting backgrounds.
3. Please tell us exactly who or what the costume represents, along with your name.
4. By submitting your photo, you are giving us permission to publish it on the Take Back Halloween website and on our Facebook page. You are welcome to send in multiple photos of the costume to help us see the full glory of the thing.
5. If you’re submitting a contest entry on behalf of someone else, you must have that person’s permission to submit the entry and publish the photo. If other people appear in the photo, you must obtain their permission for us to use and publish it.
6. The costume may be from any time in the past two years.
7. You may enter up to three (3) costumes for consideration.
8. Submissions should be emailed to contest@takebackhalloween.org.
9. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, November 6, 2016.

We expect to publish the winners about a week after the submission deadline.

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