WordXWord Festival
Story Slam at WordXWord

WXW Story Slam

Strange Holiday
December 20, 3P

Whitney Center for the Arts
42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield

Grab a spot to tell your story - register now.

WordXWord wraps up 2015 with a Story Slam at the Whitney Center for the Arts, December 20 at 3P. Storytellers are invited to share their 5-minute true stories related to the theme “strange holiday.”

A story slam is an open-mic storytelling competition open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the event’s theme. Stories are scored by volunteer judges from the audience. Typical story slams are fast paced and high spirited with widely ranging responses to the theme.

Anyone with a “strange holiday” story is invited (encouraged) to pre-register at for one of the limited number of spots.

In addition to fantastic stories - and in spirit of the holidays - the afternoon’s event will offer coffee, tea and a selection of seasonal sweets.

Admission is free and open to all. Parents of younger children are advised that stories may include content more appropriate for mature audiences.

WordXWord Story Slam

The WordXWord Story Slam format is similar in many ways to the NPR Moth Story Slam. Storytellers have 5 minutes to tell a true story related/relevant to the theme. Stories and their telling are judged by 3 judges chosen from the audience on a scale of 1-10. Top finishers of each preliminary story slam qualify to move on to the semi-final, opening event of the annual festival. Top four finishers of the semi-final move on to the finals and a chance to win the title (and cash prizes!).

In addition to the competitive tract, a limited number of “open mic,” non-competing slots are available at each of the preliminary events. These are an opportunity for newcomers to try their hand at storytelling in front of a friendly, supportive audience.

WordXWord Story Slam Rules

  • A single round.
  • You do not have to use the theme as an actual word or phrase in your story, but the story should relate to theme in some way.
  • 5 minute time limit, penalty for overtime.
  • Story must be true and first person.
  • You must tell your story (not read it!) without notes or props.
  • Order of storytellers is by random draw.


Conjure, channel, craft and compose your story. Practice so you can remember it without the benefits of paper. Then practice it so you can keep it down to five minutes. Tell it to your plants but know that they are a tough audience. Revise. Rework. Curse your plants for not believing in you! Revamp. Finesse. Shave off another two minutes. Try again. Voila! Forgive your plants. Indeed, they helped you see the light.

Contestants are judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and having a story that has a conflict and a resolution.

*shamelessly borrowed/adapted from the Moth

All WXW programs are free and open to all. WordXWord Festival, Inc is a 501(C)(3).
WordXWord Festival, Inc, c/o Adelson & Company PC, 100 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, 01201
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