Story Slam Defined?

IMG_0109In our definition, a live storytelling slam is an open mic event where voluntary participants from the audience tell their true personal tales. Think Storyokee™ instead of Karaoke. Audience judges choose their favorite stories and our top two storytellers get bragging rights for all eternity (oh and a bottle of RED wine of course).  Remember the old joke “A guy walks into a bar…?” Well at our storytelling events you’ll do just that.

Step 1 – Walk into the bar/venue.

Step 2 – Order a drink and some delicious eats with friends.

Step 3 – Listen for the MC to call out for stories.

Step 4 – Toss your name into the hat and if your name gets drawn stand behind the microphone and tell your 5 minute, or less, story.  It’s that easy.

Step 4 (Alternative) – Don’t toss your name into the hat and sit back and listen to the brave storytellers drawn from the hat.

Step 5 – Relax, marvel, laugh, cry and prepare to be mesmerized by the coolest live entertaining story experience since…well since a guy walked into a bar and told a good story!

Since we often get this question we thought we’d answer it for the nervously curious. “Do I have to tell a story?” No, absolutely not.  Only those who put their names into the hat will tell stories and you won’t be called on randomly.  Of course we’d love for you to tell a story.  Plenty of our storytellers do although they never expected they would.  The RED Thread and power of story often lures us in and we just have to share!


Stories must be TRUTHFUL and to have happened to you. Tell it in a standard story format. You know… beginning, middle, end, problem, resolution.  Although we love humor and appreciate that you have a point of view we are not a standup comedy event, nor do we have a soapbox for you to stand on. Tell us your funny, sad, bewildering, shocking, earth shattering, dramatic, or hilarious event but tell it in a story!


No notes or jottings on paper. Just tell it from the heart.  We want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.….as you recall it. We realize that when retelling our truths everyone tells their own version (which is not always the version your Aunt Mable remembers).  So, summon the story from your point of view and memory.

Five minutes goes quicker than you think. Start in the action, move to the encounter, reveal the conflict, then onto the resolution. We always allow for a small grace period but wrap it up. Having a timeframe ensures that you tell the most important, relevant, exciting parts of your story.

Nobody likes a babbler. Babble, babble, babble, babble, babble, babble…see what we mean. Think Storyokee® not Karaoke!

Also keep in mind that the theme is always a suggestion and not a rule at RED Thread. What takes trump is the RED Thread rule. Lots of folks come in without a story at all or something in mind that might fit the theme. Once people begin to weave their tales the RED Thread begins to makes it way through the audience and connects us all.  Often the majority of our stories are impromptu tales. The RED Thread is a reminder that we are all connected through our lives, our journeys, our stories.