April & May 2020


“The Willingham Story Slam @ MUSE Winston-Salem,” our newest participatory storytelling event, continues in April and May, 2020. Participants tell true, five-minutes-long personal experience stories that tug at the heart or tickle the funny bone.

Both experienced and first-time storytellers, and those who just love to hear a good yarn, are encouraged to attend.

Thursday, April 2nd, from 7 – 9 PM (doors open at 6:30)

All stories at this slam event will be linked to the common theme: “Foolishness.” Tell us about your follies, brainless escapades, hijinks, tomfoolery, pranks played, and fools suffered.

  • Doors open at 6:30pm with live music provided by David Petty at 7 PM.

 Thursday, May 14th, from 7 – 9 PM (doors open at 6:30)

All stories at this slam event will be linked to the common theme: “The Mammas & the Papas.” You’ve had one; maybe you’ve been one. How’d it go?    

  • Both story slams will be emceed by Larry “LB The Poet” Barron, award-winning poet, host, actor, artist, author, educator, and founder of Word of Mouth Wednesdays, W.O.R.D. Society, and W.O.R.D. Academy.
  • Wine and beer will be available for purchase.


  • MUSE WINSTON-SALEM is located at 226 S. Liberty Street in Winston-Salem (behind/north of the historic depot building where Willows Bistro is located). This is the new name and new home of the New Winston Museum.


•           Tickets for the story slam can be purchased prior to the event for $7 online, or $10 at the door.

Get your tickets (on sale soon)




About the Willingham Slam:

The Willingham Theater Advisory Council (of the Yadkin Arts Council) continues their commitment to storytelling in all of its forms by presenting the Willingham Story Slam – showcasing community members performing a live recollection and reflection from their own life experience – a true story. 

Tell a story or just listen!

Stories are probably as old as language. Come participate in one of the most fundamental and enduring human experiences – live storytelling!

What Happens at Story Slam Events

• Volunteers from the community will vie to enthrall you with a story, told live.

• All stories at each slam event will be linked to a common theme, announced in advance. 

• When the slam begins, storyteller hopefuls will put their names in a “hat.” Names are picked at random, and storytellers will take the stage one by one. 

• Storytellers whose name is not drawn will have an opportunity to deliver their first “hook” story line to the audience at the end of the slam. 

• At some slam events stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. 

• Storytellers are judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and having an engaging story. 

Please note

Although admission is not age-restricted, please consider that slam events are open mic. We do not control or know the story content in advance. Some stories may be explicit and meant for an audience aged 16 years and older.

Do you have a story to tell?

What we want to hear: 

Bring us into your experience. Ensnare us in your narrative web. Make us care about you and the journey you have taken. Help us understand the situation you were in. Describe what you observed. Tell us about your fears, your joys, worries or hopes. Include the irony, humor or pathos we can all relate to. What decisions did you make? What were the consequences? What did you change? How were YOU changed?

Story slam guidelines for storytellers

• Stories should be true.  Nonfiction only.

• Stories are told “by heart.” No notes or props. Practice your performance so that you do not need support.

• Adhere to the theme. The story you tell should be strongly linked to the announced theme for the date.

• The story must be yours –not someone else’s. Stories are usually better if you were present and involved in a significant way. 

• The story should reflect action and consequences. Tell us what was at stake, what was gained or lost, the obstacles or conflict you encountered, and how your actions affected you or the outcome.

• Adhere to the time limit. Stories should be 5 minutes long. There will be a one-minute grace period so you do not need to bring a stopwatch.

Please avoid:

• stand-up routines, stereotypes, rants, essays, religious sermons, how-to’s, confessions, lectures, or fiction.

• No one wants to hear hate or derision aimed at a person or a group. Build a bridge with humanity, not a wall.