Interested in competing in the Winter Carnival of Magic?

We'd love to have you!

New this year! In addition to the Close-Up contest, we are kicking-off the new Winter Carnival of Magic OPEN MIC!

OPEN MIC Applications are now closed–thank you for your interest!

Do you have a stage or parlor effect you’d like to show the world? New for 2023 is the WCM Open Mic, featuring a dozen acts and the audience picks a winner – who will win $250!

Each year, the Winter Carnival of Magic hosts two competitions, a stage competition and a close-up competition. This year, instead of a stage competition we will have 12 entrants perform ONE effect, and the audience will vote on their favorite. How do you enter? What are the rules? See below!

Attendees of the convention are welcome to enter both the open mic and close up competition. The competitions have the following rules and guidelines:


To be eligible to compete, contestants must:

  1. Register for the convention
  2. For the close up contest: E-mail the competition chairmen at For the open mic, submissions are closed!
  3. For the close up contest: Attend a mandatory competition meeting at the WCM. (Not required for the open mic)
  4. Pay the $10 non-refundable entry fee (at the venue)

Additionally, no paid performer is eligible to compete in either competition.

NOTE: The open mic is ONE effect, NOT a full routined act. The time limit of SEVEN minutes will be strictly adhered to, and performers will meet before the event to go over details.


Registration for the convention is done through the Country Tonite Theatre. The number for the theatre as well as rates for the convention are listed on our homepage. You MUST have your confirmation number to be eligible to enter either competition.

E-mailing the Close-Up Competition Chairmen

The chairmen for the close-up competition at the 2023 WCM are Ed Ripley and Shank Kothare. Send an e-mail to with the subject line “WCM contest”. In the body of the e-mail, include the confirmation number you received from the theatre when you registered to attend the convention as well as a brief description of your act.

Attending the meeting / Paying the entry fee

For the close-up contest: After you e-mail the competition chairman, you should receive a response within 48 hours acknowledging your entry and providing information about where and when to meet. You will pay your entry fee at the meeting. Once you have paid the entry fee, it is non-refundable unless fewer than five people enter the competition.

For the open mic: We will contact you a week or more before the WCM begins to inform you if you have been selected, and you will pay at the event. Again, register to enter through the online form. 

Number of Participants

Entry in each competition is granted on a first-come first-served basis and is limited to ten competitors and two alternates.


A $100 cash prize is awarded to the first place winner in the close-up competition. There must be a minimum of five competitors for the cash prize to be awarded.

A $250 cash prize is awarded to the top choice winner in the open mic, voted on by audience members.

Trophies are awarded for first and second place in the close-up competition. There must be a minimum of three competitors for trophies to be awarded.

A Peoples’ Choice Award will be given in the close-up competition. The winner of the Peoples’ Choice will receive a voucher granting them free admission to next year’s WCM.

Fire Effects

Any use of fire/pyrotechnics (including matches/flash paper/cotton,etc.) must be pre-approved by the contest chairman. Please note that Country Tonite Theater and/or Fire Marshall have final say on all fire related equipment.

Competition Chairman

The competition chairman (in conjunction with the WCM convention chairman) has the final say in all matters related to the competition. The chairman reserves the right to prohibit any performance that he/she thinks may endanger the performer, the spectators, or the venue or any performance that he/she deems to be in bad taste or that may otherwise damage the reputation of the WCM or its host Ring 58.

Close-up Competition

Competitors in the close-up competition must come prepared to perform the same act in two different locations.

The close-up competition will be scored using the attached score sheet: Close-up Competition Score Sheet.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the competition chairman prior to registering and paying for entry into the competition. Remember, you pay at the venue.

Open Mic Competition

The stage for the stage competition is a very large theatrical stage with plenty of room for props and performers.

The open mic competition will be scored using hand ballots given to audience members the day of competition.

You will pay the entry fee at the venue.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the open mic competition chairman prior to registering and paying for entry into the competition. (For the open mic, contact

Subject to Change

These rules are subject to change without notice.

Other Concerns

If you have any other questions or concerns about either competition, please contact the respective competition chairmen at either or with the subject line “WCM contest”.