Founded in 2013, the #whatshesaidproject uses first person storytelling to empower women of all ages. Our most popular method to use is the story slam.
What is a story slam?
Popularized by the incredible podcast The Moth, a story slam is a storytelling gathering/competition. Based on a poetry slam format and similar to American Idol, a story slam is a contest of words by known and undiscovered talent. Story slammers will sign up on the night of the slam at the venue to tell a 5-minute short story on the evening's theme.
Who gets to participate as story tellers? Story slams are open to everyone 16+ years of age.
Judging: There will be a team of 3 judges - interested amateurs, professors, storytellers, theater people, and writers. Each story is judged on how well it is told, how well it is constructed, and how well the story explores the chosen theme.
Cost: Depending on the venue, but rarely more than $10. Often it's free.
Time allotment: 5-10 minutes. 8 minutes or less recommended.
Stories: The audience and the judges are expecting real life adventures. Real stories have a beginning, middle and end. And they have a point. You are clear about why the story is important to you and why you want to tell it. Retelling any folktale, myth or fable is not encouraged in this context. No retelling of literary works is permitted (copyright laws apply, and this is a competition of true stories, not story re-telling). Poetry is allowed - if the poem is original, 2-5 minutes long and tells a story .
Presentation: Your story presentation is important. Your voice and body are instruments of your art. You use voice, gesture and movement to the best of your ability in the service of your story. No props or scripts allowed. There will not be a microphone, so use your gut to project!
Rehearse: Do it. Rehearsing - before a mirror, in front of a friend, into a recorder, in the car when alone, in your head before you go to sleep or before you get out of bed - all help. Do at least some of these MANY times. You will be glad you did.
Genre: Funny, Sad, Authentic? Funny is good, but don’t tell jokes. Sad is real, but sad without a purpose is just meh. Rants aren’t stories. Be authentic. Winners have that ability to be real, heartfelt, as well as well rehearsed. Believe me, we can tell the difference.