Hugo Base Contest

MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), will be held in Kansas City, MO, from August 17-21, 2016. The MidAmeriCon II committee is now soliciting proposals for the 2016 Hugo Award Base design in an open competition. This competition gives artists around the world the chance to create a lasting piece of the most prestigious popular award in the science fiction community.

Rules for Entry


2011 Renovation base designed by: Marina Gélineau

Entry in the competition is open to all. Design proposals must be submitted by midnight US Central Standard Time on Monday, January 18, 2016.

All submissions should include:

  • Drawings, sketches, and, preferably, a fabricated sample of the proposed base unit accommodating the provided specifications.
  • Cost estimate per base, and estimated total cost for the fabrication and shipping of 40 base units. As a guideline, bases should cost no more than $150 each to fabricate.
  • Lead time needed to make the bases. The contest winner will be selected by late February 2016, and announced shortly afterward. Delivery of approximately 40 bases to MidAmeriCon II, at an address in the United States, will be expected in June 2016.
  • Proof of your ability to either craft the bases or arrange for the work to be done.

 Photos of past Hugo awards can be viewed at the official Hugo Awards website.

The winner of the base design competition will also receive a full (five-day) Attending membership for MidAmeriCon II, where they will be invited to take part in the public unveiling of their design at the convention’s Opening Ceremonies and at the Hugo Awards Ceremony. The base will also be added to the physical archive of Hugo base designs, and thus be part of the Hugo History exhibit that travels to each Worldcon.

 The winning design is traditionally kept secret until the Worldcon and strict confidentiality will therefore apply to the winning design until the convention.

We regret that competition entries cannot be returned, and MidAmeriCon II reserves the right to select no entry as the winner.  To enter the competition, submit proposals either electronically or via the mail. Please include your name and contact information.

Electronic Submission

Please email proposals to Include the requested information, and a JPG, TIFF, PNG, or GIF image of your design.

Postal Submission

Please send the requested information, along with a sketch/drawing/sample base (or a CD or flash drive containing your sketch/drawing), to:

Dave McCarty
c/o McCarty Software
2020 N California Ave, Suite 299
Chicago, IL 60647-6319

If you have any questions, please contact the Hugo administrators at

Base Specifications

Your proposal must conform to certain general and technical specifications, as follows:

  • Bases may be made of wood, metal, lucite, or any other material that has a fixed form. Materials that are fragile, or change form with age or extremes of temperature, are not suitable.


    Hugo Rocket

  • Bases must be designed in such a way that the silver Hugo rocket, supplied by MidAmeriCon II, is an integral part of the design.
  • Rockets will be bolted to the bases from below the tailfins, and must be able to stand on a flat surface. Hanging designs, or those which rely on gravity other than Earth standard, are not acceptable.
  • Specifications for the Hugo rocket itself are:
    • 13 inches (33.02 cm) tall
    • 2 inches (5.08 cm) across from fin-tip to fin-tip
    • 3 pounds 2 ounces (1.42 kg) in weight
    • Bolt with a 5/16-18 machine screw thread.
  • Space must be left on the base for affixing a plaque or plaques indicating (in an easily readable, 12 pt font) the names of the convention, the winner, and the category of the award.
  • The winning design should have a theme highlighting Kansas City and/or the themes and aesthetic feel of MidAmeriCon II. Copyrighted / trademarked elements should not be included, and designs featuring them will be disqualified.
  • Preference will be given to submissions that include or demonstrate appropriate safe packaging to ship the base in (generally without the rocket attached).
  • Additionally, keep in mind that trophies and bases will be traveling home in people’s luggage or need to be shipped. Parts that are fragile, fiddly, or prone to fall off are strongly discouraged, as is anything that would make transportation security officials too nervous (the rocket requires enough explanation just by itself).

Thank you for participating and best of luck!