DemiCon typically hosts a wide range of contests to suit many interests. All are welcome to participate.

We are also happy to announce the winners of our contest to design our DemiCon 28 poster. Results are available on our contests page or by clicking HERE.

Comments are closed.

SAY WHAT?!: The DemiCon Dramatic Reading Competition

This contest celebrates the popularity of audio books and the joy of reading to a toddler or sharing a favored book passage with a friend.

Whether you enter the contest or merely participate by being in the audience, come experience the skills and variety of approaches applied to speaking the written word.

Judging will be based on how well characters’ lines are delivered, how effectively descriptions are conveyed, and on how well audience attention is captured. Pacing of the story will also be taken into consideration.

Participation is limited to 6 people, on a first-come-first-entered basis. Pre-registration will be allowed by sending an email to starting in late March. Due to demand, if you pre-register and are not in the room by 5 minutes after the start of the contest, your place may not be held. Registration is also allowed at the contest.

Traditionally, the contest is held on Friday at 5:00 p.m. The reading selections will take between 5-6 minutes each to read. If there are only three, or fewer, participants, contestants may read a second selection.

This year’s selections were made on the theme of heroes in folk tales. At the request of a person who helped develop this contest, there is also a selection from The Scarlet Pimpernel, identified as the first superhero in literature.

Here are links to this year’s selections:

  1. The Good Thunder, from Japanese Fairy Tales by Grace James
  2. The Enchanted Peafowl, from Yugoslav Folk and Fairy Tales retold by Parker Fillmore
  3. Viking Tales by Jennie Hall
  4. The Wondrous Story of Ivan Golik and the Serpents, from Cossack Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
  5. The Fairy Aurora, from Romanian Fairy Tales compiled by Mite Krimnitz
  6. The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain from East of the Sun and West of the Moon – Old Tales from the North (Norway) by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Engebretsen Moe
  7. How Havana Got Its Market from Myths & Legends of Our New Possessions & Protectorate by Charles M. Skinner
  8. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy


Masquerade & Cosplay Registration

Thanks for your interest in the DemiCon 28 “formal” Masquerade and Cosplay! Unlike the Friday night “Hall Costume” contest, the Saturday evening event gives you a chance to strut your clever and cunningly-crafted attire in front of a captive (although voluntarily so) audience. Prizes will be awarded for the costumes deemed by our judges to be the best of the best.

If you’ve participated in masquerades before, then you’re already familiar with the thrill of hearing the “oooohs” and “aaaahs” of an audience eager to appreciate your handiwork and presentation skills. If you’ve NOT tried your hand as a contestant in the past, then get ready for one of the biggest endorphin rushes one can experience at an SF con. Once you’ve walked across that stage in your jaw-dropping Renaissance garb, or Steampunk finery, or as your favorite anime character, or wherever your creative muse has taken you, you’ll be hooked — we promise!


  • The masquerade will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday evening. Adult participants should report to the green room (Ballroom D) by 7:15; junior participants (ages 13 and under) should report to the green room by no later than 7:30.
  • You must have a DemiCon 28 membership to take part in the Masquerade and Cosplay. If you have not registered for DemiCon 28 yet, please visit the Registration page.
  • There is no private dressing facility in the green room — so if modesty is an issue, you’ll need to don at least your lowest layer either in your hotel room, or in the nearby hotel restroom facility, before reporting in. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms have a large “handicapped” stall suitable for clothing changes.
  • DemiCon recognizes three entry categories: Apprentice (a.k.a. Junior — for contestants aged 13 years and younger), Artisan (ages 14 and up), and Exhibition (for show only; not entered for judging consideration). There will be “Best of Apprentice” and “Best of Artisan” awards presented, as well as a “Best of Show” that can be selected from either category. In addition, the judges will be given leeway to present a few “honorable mention” awards, which may include things such as: Best Presentation, Best Media Recreation, Best Use of Materials — or whatever else they deem fit in order to recognize our contestants’ outstanding work. There will also be a “Best Workmanship” award bestowed by a separate panel of judges, who will examine costumes up close and personal in the greenroom area. The workmanship judges may also elect to give out some honorable mention awards for special detail work, as they deem appropriate.
  • For those opting to avail themselves of a tech rehearsal, you will be granted a 10-minute slot to practice with the emcee and tech crew on Saturday afternoon. You can sign up for your tech rehearsal time when you submit your entry paperwork — but in order to be granted tech rehearsal time, we will need your paperwork no later than noon on Saturday. (Remember: if you like being super-efficient, you can get your “paperwork” to us in advance by including it in your Masquerade and Cosplay registration.) It is not necessary to come to your rehearsal in your full costume — but for best results, we do recommend bringing along any special props, headgear, and/or footwear that are part of your ensemble, as those are the items most likely to cause unexpected challenges during a presentation.
  • Persons scheduling a tech rehearsal should bring any special music or audio files with them if the presentation requires it. Preferred format is .mp3 or .aif files on a flash drive or CD. Our sound crew may or may not be able to accommodate other formats, so deviate from these guidelines at your own risk. With or without a tech rehearsal, however, we can provide you with some kick-ass background music if you need it. Just let us know the general type of mood you want to set, and we’ll select something great for you accordingly.
  • We will have a photographer available to take studio-quality pictures of you in your masquerade garb. You should plan to be prepared for your photo shoot during the pre-event green room time, although our photographer MAY be available for a brief period after the conclusion of the masquerade if you don’t get around to having your portrait snapped earlier.
  • After your time on stage, we recommend that you remain in costume until all entries have been presented (although you can certainly temporarily remove pieces if some “breathing time” is required), so that you may participate in the post-masquerade “photo run” across the stage for the photographers in our audience. This is optional — but after having gone to all that hard work to make the costume, don’t you want to give everyone else as much opportunity as possible to enjoy it?
  • After the photo run (or sooner, for those who opt not to do the “catwalk” thing), participants may remove any or all portions of their costume, and are invited to sit in the audience to enjoy the halftime show, and to be present when the judges return from deliberation to announce the awards.


Questions? Suggestions? The sooner you contact us, the better. Please direct all masquerade-related correspondence to Jeannette Roth — your humble DemiCon 28 masquerade/cosplay director — at

And once again, if you’ve decided to join us with an onstage presentation – and we hope you have – you can help yourself and help us to make things run more smoothly and efficiently by registering online.



Primary Contact

Entry Information

IMPORTANT: You must read the following waivers and check the boxes below to indicate your acceptance of the masquerade/cosplay terms. Failure to accept the terms and mark the checkboxes will disallow your participation in this year’s event.

Prose & Poetry Contest

Rules for the DemiCon 28 Prose & Poetry writing contest are:

  1. Stories and poems are to be written in the genre of science fiction or fantasy.
  2. Prose is limited to no more than 7,500 words.
  3. Poetry is limited to no more than 100 lines.
  4. Entries must include the sentence “Heroes shall rise.”
  5. The deadline for receipt of entries is Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  6. Entrants may submit up to two items, i.e., a poem and a short story or two short stories or two poems.
  7. To be eligible to participate, entrants must have a membership to DemiCon 28. This may be an Explorer, one-day, or full convention membership.
  8. DemiCon is a family-friendly convention and all entries must be suitable for open reading at the convention and posting on-line.
  9. A separate youth category may exist for writers under 18 years of age. Entries in this group must include the writer’s age at the start of DemiCon 28.

Entries may be posted on-line after judging is completed and will be available for reading in print form at the convention. In addition to judges’ comments, members of the convention will be invited to give their feedback to the writers.

There will be first-, second- and third-place winners. Judging will be based on an overall ranking and on three broad categories. Winners will be selected based on total points, with any ties broken using the overall rankings.

The categories for short stories are Character, Description, and Continuity based on their effective use within the story. Character includes growth of characters, use of dialogue, and believability of characters. Description includes the general use of description, how technological or fantastical items specific to the story are described, and description that sets the scene. Continuity includes consistency of writing, general adherence to the theme, and if the story or poem progresses true to the story’s world.

The categories for poems are Rhythm, Imagery, and Coherence. Rhythm includes how the poem sounds when read aloud and how well the poem works within its particular form (e.g., free verse, iambic pentameter); plus, for poems following established styles, how well the poem adheres to the established structure. Imagery includes description but, more so than with stories, how well the scene is evoked. Coherence includes how well all parts of the poem go together.

The DemiCon Writing Contest focuses on judges as readers more than as writers. Judges will be well-read individuals who are not published writers or editors and may include members of DMSFS.

Please proofread your entries in addition to checking the spelling. Judges do not deduct points for typographical errors, but misspellings and incorrect word usage do distract from the writing.

Send your entries no later than April 4, 2017, to RTF is preferred over .doc or .docx files. Entries should include, on the first page only, the author’s name,the title of the story or poem, and contact information for the author. The judging will be blind, i.e., the judges will not know who wrote which story or poem. Please mark the end of your stories and poems with “# # #.”

You will be sent an email to confirm your entry was received. If you have not received a confirmation within three days of submitting your entry, please contact and If you prefer to submit your entry by
U.S. mail, send it to: DMSFS – DemiCon Writing Contest at PO Box 7572, Des Moines, IA 50323.


Sweded Movie Trailers Contest

Supervillains have been spotted in Iowa City, heading towards Des Moines. Residents have been told to stay at home and take cover. You prepare by stockpiling DVDs and even VHS tapes to watch during the assault. But, wait! The electrical grid power surge caused by cold weather and a high-tech supervillain has wiped the contents of your favorite movies. You have only a few days to gather food and entertainment. Popcorn is easy, this is Iowa after all. But you have to recreate the videos using only a camcorder or video phone. Quickly!

These are your rules:

  1. Entries are to be in the style of movie trailers, 1 minute to 3 minutes in length.
  2. Entries are to parody/mimic a trailer for a science fiction, fantasy, superhero, or horror movie. This is
    to be done without the use of professional costuming or special effects. The more low-budget, the better.
  3. All entries must be original work by person(s) submitting the entry.
  4. Entries must meet the criteria for previews approved for General Audiences.
  5. Credits are not to be on the video entered. (This is a blind judging). When submitting entries, provide
    all credit information in an email.
  6. If an entry wins a prize, the prize will go to all individuals identified as Entrants, so be sure to specify
    Entrants in addition to any credit information in the submission email.
  7. A panel of local experts will judge entries before DemiCon 28. Judging will be based on entertainment
    value, successful parody/homage to the movie’s genre, being low- (or no-) budget, and creativity.
    (E.g., does the trailer make a good “advertisement” for the movie?)
  8. Judges’ Choice and Fans’ Choice are to be awarded. (Fans’ Choice will be voted on during
    DemiCon 28.)
  9. A maximum of three entries per person/group is permitted. All entries must be made separately.
  10. Entries must be in WMV, MP4, MOV, or MPG format.
  11. Entries will be shown at DemiCon 28, possibly on the DemiCon Channel.
  12. Deadline for entries is April 10, 2017. A confirmation will be sent when the entry is received.
  13. Submit entries and any questions to Robert Uy at

As with all DemiCon contests, this video contest is about having fun, trying something new in an encouraging environment, and exploring creativity. In other words, no experience necessary!

If you are not sure what a Sweded Movie Trailer would be, “Be Kind Rewind” is a good movie to see for ideas. YouTube is also a good source.



This contest is connected with the City Smash of Children’s Programming and the Adult City Smash to benefit DemiCon’s charity. It combines creative construction with rampant destruction!

Boxes are turned into buildings, transportation machines, factories, and other objects common in a community. Then, children, or a lucky adult, are let loose to smash the boxes to shreds!

This event and contest first took place for DemiCon 25 and return for DemiCon 28. Safety is the first rule for both the event and the contest. Box designs may be allowed in the adult smash that are not allowed in the children’s version. Similarly, box designs may be allowed in the smash that do not qualify for the contest. The contest rules lean towards easy stomping by children.

This is a fun contest but it is serious about showcasing creativity and art. Imagine you are designing a set for a movie or stage play with the intent of destroying the scenery as part of the show.


Contest Rules

  1. The entry must be stompable. The best boxes include the type used for cereal boxes or egg cartons. Sturdier boxes, such as those used for oats, are not acceptable.
  2. All tools used to secure the sides of boxes or to build multi-box constructs must be safe for a child to crush. These include items such as masking tape and child-safe glue.
  3. All materials used for creating designs must be safe for a child to crush and non-harmful to an indoor location. These include water-soluable paint and pencils.
  4. Multi-box constructs are allowed. They must be sturdy enough to be moved around the set, but still be stompable. They must also be light enough not to hurt a child if knocked over so they can be stomped.

Prizes will be awarded for Most Realistic, Best Superhero Theme, Children’s Favorite, Best Painted Design, Best Non-Paint Design, Judges’ Overall Favorite. (A non-paint design may use paint for embellishment, but the essence of the design should come from combination of materials, not from the paint.)

Enjoy creating an entry (up to three are allowed per person), but don’t be limited by the contest. Numerous designs are needed for the two stomps, even if the creations are not entered into the contest.

Come to the Volunteer Appreciation DemiCon Lite on Saturday, April 22 from 11AM to 2PM, at the Holiday Inn. We will have supplies there for people to create their own designs for the City Smash.

Deadline for entries will be announced later. It will be close to or during the convention. If you have any questions, contact

City Smash Contest Entry Form

DemiCon 28 Promotional Art Contest Winners

At our February DemiCon 28 planning meeting all of the department heads present voted for which poster art submissions they like the best.

Each voting member of the meeting selected one entry for each of the four prize levels. After tallying up the results we are happy to announce the winners.

Grand Prize is Sarah Macht with her entry titled “Heroes Shall Rise, Acrylic.” Sarah’s entry “Heroes Shall Rise (non-acrylic)” also won for Honorable Mention.









1st Runner Up goes to David West with “Hero(es) Duce and the Infinite.”










2nd Runner Up goes to Karen Hustus with “We Came From Outer Space.”










The prizes were as follows:

The winner of the Grand Prize will:

  • Have his/her artwork used on DemiCon 28 posters, badges, Web site, and other promotional material, with written and verbal recognition given to the artist;
  • Receive a convention T-shirt;
  • Receive one complimentary membership to DemiCon 28 or DemiCon 29 (cannot be transferred);
  • Get free ‘hanging fee’ for the winning art piece in the DemiCon 28 Art Show;
  • Can choose to be on a panel about creating the artwork for DemiCon 28

The First Runner-Up will:

  • Have his/her artwork used for the program book, badges, and Web site, and other promotional material, with written and verbal recognition given to the artist;
  • Get free ‘hanging fee’ for the First Runner-Up art piece in the DemiCon 28 Art Show;
  • Can choose to be on a panel about creating the artwork for DemiCon 28

The Second Runner-Up will:

  • Have his/her artwork used for the program book, on badges, and on the Web site, and other promotional material, with written and verbal recognition given to the artist;
  • Get free ‘hanging fee’ for the Second Runner-Up art piece in the DemiCon 28 Art Show;
  • Can choose to be on a panel about creating the artwork for DemiCon 28

Each Honorable Mention winner will:

  • Have his/her artwork used on badges, and on the Web site, and other promotional material, with written and verbal recognition given to the artist;
  • Get free ‘hanging fee’ for the honorable mention art piece in the DemiCon 28 Art Show.

Hungry Hippogriffs

It’s time to feed the Hippogriffs! Get your team of 2 to 3 people to participate. Have your Hippogriff eat as much as they can but wait!  The Snitch has found it’s way to the feeding pit.  Will it become a tasty Snack or will it get away.  Sign up in the Hub.

Official Hungry Hippogriffs Rules

  • 3 Person Teams – 1 Hungry Hippogriff, 1 Lever and 1 Feeder.
  • 2 Person Teams – I Hungry Hippogriff, 1 Lever (We will supply the Feeder)

Objective of the game – Be the team that scores the highest number of balls in three rounds. Each team will have 16 balls to put into play.  At some time the Snitch finds it’s way to the feeding pen. If the Snitch is eaten and pulled back into it’s area all play stops.  Remaining balls stay in the pen and are not counted. If the only ball left in the pen is the Snitch it gets away to fly another day. The person playing the Lever needs to be in good health and physically be able to move a person back and forth.  Hungry Hippogriffs needs to be able to lay on their stomach and use a basket to chomp the balls and the Feeder needs to be able to release balls to the hippogriffs’ feeding pit. Participate at your own risk. DemiCon/DMSFS is not held responsible in case of injury.

Start of the Game
Teams of hungry hippogriffs start behind the blue line with the line of the basket.
Ref will start the game
Lever pushes Hippogriff back and forth by holding the hippogriff’s feet.
Feeder feeds hippogriffs by placing the balls in the team’s “shoot” that allows the balls to roll down into the eating grounds.
While hippogriff is being pushed back and forth they “eat” the balls with chomping motion.
At some time the Snitch “accidentally” finds it’s way into the eating pen.
If the Snitch is eaten by a team bringing back behind a blue line. All play stops and the round is done. Balls left in the pen are not counted. Each ball is worth 1 point. The Snitch is worth 5 points.
If the Snitch is the last ball left in the pen – it escapes and heads back to the Quidditch field.

Rules for participants
You must be 13 years of age or older to participate without a parent/guardian.
If you are 9 to 12 years of age, the child’s parent/guardian must be on the same team to participate.
Both hands must stay on the basket for the hungry hippogriffs. No sweeping or scooping of arms to grab balls to put into the basket.
Lever pulls hippogriffs behind the blue line. Hippogriff drop off the balls behind the blue line into your area.
Lever must stay behind the blue line.
Feeder must place the balls at the top of the feeder mechanism and let them roll down to the hippogriff pit.
Feeders also collect the team’s scored balls in a basket to be counted at the end of the round.
Team wins by most number of balls collected over 3 rounds of play.
If any of the balls is stuck in a feeder corner area or cannot be reached by a hippogriff. Once the ref gives the okay, the Feeder can pick it up and roll it back down the feeder shoot to be put back into play.

Disqualifications for a Round
Breaking the basket that the hippogriffs eats with… no slamming them on other players, the floor, the wall and etc.
Sweeping of scooping up balls into the basket with hands and arms. Both hands must be on the baskets,
Stealing other players scored balls from their designated areas
Lever steps over the blue line.
If a team is disqualified for a round, if they had already collected some balls, those do not reenter play and are left out of the count for points.
What to Wear
To participate, Hippogriffs need to be wearing clothing that is not so loose that it can get caught in the wheels. No skirts, kilts, large costumes, long clothing pieces, and nothing slick or you will be pushed right off the carts.   Please be safe.  Ref had final say on clothing.

Reminder – To be a Lever or even Hippogriff, one needs to be physically able to do so.  If you have an injury, back issues, health issues, please be the Feeder for your team.