To keep you busy in the leadup to the convention, we're running a number of competitions. We're offering some very nice prizes indeed to make entering worth the trouble, for writers, cosplayers and performers, and artists.
The theme for Au Contraire 2013 is "regeneration". Where practical, it's preferable for competition entries to relate to the theme in some way, but it can be interpreted very broadly. All entries for all competitions should be science fiction or fantasy based.
You do need to be a member of the convention to enter most of our competitions. Supporting memberships are available for those who can't attend in person.
While the short story competition is closed, you've still got a chance to try your hand at lyric writing. The filking competition is basically a songwriting competition for lyrics based on science fiction, fantasy, or fandom. The usual method is to write new lyrics to an existing song, but original music is also welcome. First prize is $100 in book vouchers, with another $50 in runnerup prizes.
The big cosplay event is the Masquerade on Saturday night. There will be a Grand Prize of $500 in book vouchers for the best entry, and an additional pool of $300 in vouchers for runnerup prizes in various categories. See the entry form for more details.
As well as the formal Masquerade, we'll be issuing spot prizes for the best dressed attendees over the course of the convention. On Friday, these may include vouchers to spend at the Floating Market after the opening ceremony. You don't need to have made your own costume to be eligible for these!
We will be holding a show of science fiction and fantasy art at the convention, with a Grand Prize of $500 in book vouchers for the best entry, and an additional pool of $300 in vouchers for runnerup prizes. Both 2D and 3D works are welcome, in any media, but must be entirely your own work; photomanipulations are not eligible, unless you take the source photo(s) yourself. If desired, works may be offered for sale. More details forthcoming.
Entries for our short story competition closed at the end of January, but we received a fantastic bunch of entries. Many of the best will be included in the anthology Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction II from Random Static, which will be launched at the con. The first Random Static anthology, A Foreign Country, won the Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Collected Work, and consisted largely of Au Contraire 2010 competition entries.
In addition to paid publication in the anthology, there will also be a Grand Prize of $500 in book vouchers for the best story as judged by our Guest of Honour Jennifer Fallon, and an additional pool of $300 in vouchers for runnerup prizes. These winners will be announced at the convention closing ceremony.