Story Slam!

Deadline Friday, August 9th!

Have you got what it takes to be the National Storytelling Festival’s next Best Story Slammer? Anyone’s welcome to apply – all you need is a little bit of courage and a true, five-minute story that suits this year’s theme: BAD IDEA. 

Applications are in the form of a recorded 2-minute story excerpt. All entries will be judged by a panel and six will be selected to tell at the National Storytelling Festival on Saturday, October 5. Those selected to tell will receive a weekend ticket to the Festival!


• Your story must connect to the theme BAD IDEA in some way. 
• True, original stories only.
• Contestants must be at least 16 years old.
• Stories must be told, not read. No notes or props.
• Content must be suitable for a general audience, ages 13 and up.
• Former featured National Storytelling Festival or 2019 Exchange Place tellers are ineligible 


To enter, submit your 2-minute excerpt recording and fill out the entry form option below. If it’s not obvious in your recording, make sure to tell us how the story will relate to the theme “Bad Idea.” Deadline to enter is August 9th. If you’ve been chosen for the Slam, you’ll be notified by August 30th.

To snail mail, send recording to:
International Storytelling Center
Attn: Story Slam
116 W. Main
Jonesborough, TN 37659


It is a competition – and if you are selected to tell at the Festival, you’ll only have five minutes at the mic to wow the judges. You will be judged on your performance, how well the story is crafted, its connection to the theme, and adherence to the 5-minute time limit. Please remember you do not have to say the theme BAD IDEA in your story; it only needs to be implied. Be creative!



Selected contestants will receive a full weekend pass to the National Storytelling Festival, plus the change to win the slam to take home cash and the ultimate bragging rights! 

First place: $300
Second place: $150
Third place: $50

Story Slam

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