Willlingham Story Slam

The Willingham Theater of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center brings its Willingham Story Slam to Bookmarks’ 2019 Festival of Books and Authors.
Stories are probably as old as language. Come participate in one of the most fundamental and enduring human experiences – live storytelling!

Storytelling Slam

  • Festival attendees and authors are invited to perform a live, 5-minute recollection and reflection from their own experience, a true story.
  • All stories at this slam event will be linked to the common theme: “Books and Authors.” Tell us about a story or poem that changed your life. Recount how you fell in love with the written word. Reflect on your struggle to write a book or live with/work with an author.
  • The story slam will be held on Saturday, September 7, from 4 – 6 PM.


  • The story slam will be held in the breezeway next to Foothills Brewpub at #638, 4 th Street, Winston-Salem, NC.

Admission is free for this event. 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? The Story slam event:

  • 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 within the course of the slam will have an opportunity to deliver their first “hook” story line to the audience

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. You must have been present and involved in a significant way, not a passive observer.
  • The story should have 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.

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?

Please avoid:

  • Stand-up routines, stereotypes, rants, essays, religious sermons, how-to’s,
  • Confessions, lectures, or fiction.
  • No one wants to hear you spew hate or derision toward a person or a group.
  • Build a bridge with humanity, not a wall.

For more information: willinghamslam.com