“The Willingham Story Slam @ MUSE Winston-Salem,” a local storytelling community, will host a
virtual story slam on Thursday, October 29 th , 2020, from 7:00-9:00 pm. Guests are invited to share their own stories of worst fears, quirky phobias, looming threats, dark prospects, spooky hauntings, or funny feelings. This initiative is an ongoing partnership between MUSE Winston-Salem and The Willingham Theater in Yadkin County.

This will be the second month in a row that we’re holding a totally virtual story slam on the Zoom
platform. Last month’s slam featured seven great stories—each one different than the next. Despite the remote format, audience and storytellers created a spirited and supportive evening of fun. We are excited to continue in this format until we can safely gather again.

“Scary Times!” will feature special guest storyteller Joe Mills, who offers this teaser: “I’m going to tell a story about a scary walk in the woods with my brother.” Mills is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and has published six collections of poetry with Press 53. His book This Miraculous Turning was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family. In 2019, he published his debut collection of fiction, Bleachers, which consists of fifty-four linked pieces that take place during a youth soccer game. Information about his work is available at  www.josephrobertmills.com .

Returning as emcee will be Larry Barron, aka LB the Poet, award-wining poet, host, and author. We welcome local storytellers to join the Story Slam and interpret the prompt “Scary Times!” We will choose a total of eight to ten individuals who will have no more than five-minutes to share their true, and possibly suspenseful, spooky, or silly stories with our audience who will be routing
for each storyteller.

Advanced registration for this free community event will be required for storytellers and observers. Donations are welcome.

Further information and details are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-willingham-story-slam-muse-winston-salem-scary-things-tickets-122500581537 .




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.