Originally Posted by Sarcasm-hime
A lot of it also depends on the particular competition. If you think you'll be up against a lot of kids who just started sewing/cosplaying 6 months ago, Journeyman might be better for you. But if you're entering a huge event with fierce competition, you might want to play it safe for your first time and try Novice. If in doubt, ask the Masquerade Director of the competition.
Good point! I have never been to this convention before, but according to Wikipedia, last year's head count was about 9200 people, so not huge. I contacted the staff with this question (gave them the same info, too), and they told me it's up to me and where I would feel most comfortable. I am thinking, based off of the con size, I would be better off competing at Journeyman. I can further justify this by the fact that some of the techniques I'm using are I think considered intermediate, possibly advanced in the armor world, even though it's my first attempt at trying them. It's just a little nerve-wracking skipping a whole category for my first (real) walk-on, haha. Thank you!