Topic: Unfinished Business
Creekside Tent on Saturday, October 5th
Deadline to apply is August 9

Join in the fun and apply for your chance to be the Festival’s next great story slammer. All you need is a true five-minute story on the theme “Unfinished Business” The deadline to apply is Friday, August 9. For more information on how to enter, visit and look for special events. Finalists will receive complimentary admission to the festival and compete for cash prizes.

The 2024 Story Slam is sponsored by Deedy Productions

Story Slam

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  • Your story must connect to the theme UNFINISHED BUSINESS in some way. You do not need to say the words ‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’ in your story, but you do need to connect to the idea.
  • 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 tellers are not eligible to enter.
  • Be sure it’s a story with a beginning, middle and end, and not a joke or anecdote.
  • You’ll be notified if you’ve been chosen for the Slam by August 30.


First place: $300 

Second place: $200

Third place: $100


You can enter by providing an excerpt of your story below. Make sure the excerpt conveys how your story will relate to the theme “UNFINISHED BUSINESS”

To mail, send recording to:

International Storytelling Center

Attn: Story Slam

116 W. Main

Jonesborough, TN 37659

Deadline to enter is Friday, August 9. You’ll be notified if you’re ‘in’ by August 30.


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 UNFINISHED BUSINESS in your story; it only needs to be implied. Be creative!

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