StorySlam 2021

Deadline Friday, August 20th!

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, NOW WHAT?

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 2. Those selected to tell will receive a weekend ticket to the Festival!


• Your story must connect to the theme NOW WHAT in some way. You do not need to say the words ‘NOW WHAT’ 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: $150 

Third place: $50


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


To mail, send recording to:

International Storytelling Center

Attn: Story Slam

116 W. Main

Jonesborough, TN 37659


Deadline to enter is Friday, August 20. 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 NOW WHAT? in your story; it only needs to be implied. Be creative!


Story Slam

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