Calling all beasties, merfolk, and creatures of the night! Let your creative costumery shine in our Halloween Map Monster Photo Contest. Using our collections as a reference, we challenge you to find your favorite monster and create a costume to scare up some fun. Send in your photo and automatically be entered in a chance to win a prize. There will be one prize winner selected from each category: kids, teens, adults, and USM Faculty and Staff. Photos of pets are welcome, too!

Enter Here!


The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (OML) Halloween Map Monster Photo Contest begins October 1, 2021, and ends November 1, 2021, at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Who may enter:

This contest is open to everyone of all ages—and even pets! The categories are as follows:

  • Child – ages 0-11
  • Teen – ages 12-17
  • Adult – ages 18+
  • USM Faculty & Staff – Any of the Faculty and Staff currently employed at the University of Southern Maine
  • Pets – domestic animals

How to Enter:

Please submit photos using the Google Form on our website or email You may submit one photograph per category.

What to enter:

A single photograph of the contestant dressed as a sea monster of your choosing! Costumes can be store bought or DIY–the purpose and intent of this contest is to have fun!  You must be prepared to provide a photo release form or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian, to the OML upon entry into the contest. The photo release form is included in the online submission form and can be provided via email by request.


The welfare of the subject must be placed ahead of the desire to capture an image. Upon entering the contest, entrants certify that subjects were treated with respect and dignity, and that no one was harmed in creating the image. Photos that contain obscene, or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by the OML in its sole discretion, are ineligible for all categories of this contest. Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights are not eligible.

Entry deadline:

The contest begins on October 1, 2021. All entries must be received by OML by 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on November 1, 2021.


Photo entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, originality, and fun!

OML will select 1 prize winner for each category. The prize winners will be notified in November of 2021. OML will notify winners via the contact information provided at the time of entry. All prizes are awarded “as is” and are non-transferable.

Category Prize Winners: The prize winners of each of the five categories will receive a book, commemorative limited edition pins, and a commemorative limited edition poster. 

The books prizes available are:

  • The Scary Places Map Book: Seven Terrifying Tours by B. G. Hennessy (recommended ages 5+)
  • The Atlas of Monsters: Mythical Creatures from Around the World by Sandra Lawrence (recommended ages 7+) 
  • The Mermaid Atlas by Anna Claybourne (recommended ages 7+)
  • Sea Monsters: A Voyage around the World’s Most Beguiling Map by Joseph Nigg (recommended ages Adult/Teen)
  • Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps by Chet van Duzer (recommended ages Adult/Teen)

    Online Features:

    You retain your rights to your images; however, by entering the contest the OML may select photos to share on its website or on our social media outlets. Any reproduced image will include a photographer credit.

    Questions? Email us at