Fugitive Stories Community Tellers
would you like to be a Fugitive COMMUNITY Storyteller?
“There is no greater burden than carrying an untold story.“ — Maya Angelou
We welcome you to join us! You may have never told a story live before on a stage but have told dozens of them around a kitchen table. Maybe you’re that person who has an unbelievable or compelling story to tell that you know will bring a smile to someone’s face or or help someone feel less alone. If you have a five-minute true story on one of our “themes” and are willing to tell at one of our events, click here and tell us more. We’ll get back to you!
Guidelines for storytellers
Stories are told, not read.
This is a “working without a net” experience! No notes, no copy — just you, a microphone and the audience. Whether it is just accessible “in your head” or you write it down and memorize it, say it out loud to the voice recorder on your phone or to your pet. Have you used words that are conversational or ones that are best left to the printed page? It should sound like you are telling the story to a friend over a cup of coffee, not a Pulitzer prize-winning bit of literature.
Beginning — middle — end.
Well-constructed stories follow an arc with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Each section of the story may be of different lengths but each part should exist. Set a scene or begin with an event, then describe the situation and the people involved. Close with the relevance to the theme or with the consequence, outcome, or emotional effect it had for you.
“Stick” your ending.
Ever see a gymnast give a great performance and “stick” the landing then proudly smile? Everyone in the audience erupts in applause! That is what you should consider as you come to a conclusion in your story. Try not to meander into the ending but wrap it up in a way that honors the arc of the story and leaves audiences murmuring or roaring!
Keep to the time allowed.
You have five minutes (with a one minute grace period) to tell your story, which is the same standard for The Moth and Massmouth competitive slams. Lucky for you, this isn't a competition! If you write out your story, about 150 words equals a minute of spoken time, so your story should be between 750 and 1000 words.
Nervous is normal.
Feeling jittery or uncertain or wondering why you signed up to do this? It's normal. Just breathe! The audience will support you. If you forget a word or a piece that's important, just breathe and double back. Laugh at yourself if you need to. Find a friendly face in the audience. Those who have never told a story before often receive a warm and enthusiastic response from the audience — and a well-earned sense of accomplishment and confidence!
No standup routines or political rants.
We welcome funny people but require they tell a story, not deliver a stand-up routine. Political endorsements or rants are not stories; stories may touch on how political or social activism, beliefs, or the actions of a political candidate affected the storyteller.
Just not allowed.
We know that true stories may contain profanity as well as disturbing and/or difficult subject matter, and for the most part, that's OK. We will interrupt and curtail stories that encourage or endorse hatred, violence, and/or racism toward any group of people.
How to prepare.
- Consult our Schedule page to find the theme for each location/date. The theme should be reflected in your story. Be “creative” and let your mind wander to a memory, lesson learned or an experience too unbelievable to be true. Have a question about a story you want to tell? Email us.
- Follow these guidelines the best that you can. We look forward to giving you a chance to tell your story!