Tag Archives: storytelling

Our 3rd Teen Story Slam was AMAZING

A year ago, a few writers and I tried something daring. We asked local teens to come out and read something they’d written to a live audience. It could be a poem, a confession, a chapter from a novel in progress, or a short story. Our only rules: Five minutes of reading, PG content only. We thought we’d have an intimate circle of intrepid readers, and we were cool with that. Well, our literary event, Teen Story Slam, WENT OFF! We packed a giant house wall to wall, on the night of the World Series no less. It was a historic outpouring of enthusiasm for the spoken word. Naturally, the writers begged us to do it again.
todayWith the support of Westside Pizza and the Kitsap Regional Library, we threw another Teen Story Slam and packed the house again. Local high school teacher (and playwright) Noah Barfield was a fabulous emcee. Parents, teachers, and adults lined the back of the restaurant, while every table was packed with teen writers and their friends. The peer support was phenomenal. The stories, poems, chapters and essays read were among the finest we’ve had. Around the room, tears were shed for poignant pieces about gender roles, the loss of love, and facing grief head-on. Conversely, there were comedians among our writers, earning cheers, hoots of laughter, and huge rounds of applause. It was incredible. Each time we present Teen Story Slam, our community of student writers elevates the event beyond our dreams, displaying talent, maturity, insight, and bravery.
We allow each reader to sign his or her name impermanently on a whiteboard with a dry erase marker. Throughout the slam, teens can strike their name, nominate a friend, or move their name higher or lower on the list. With the encouragement of friends and the awesome vibes coming from the audience, a few who’d sworn they wouldn’t read pulled up stories on their phones and took to the mic for an impromptu reading. One made up a fantastic story on the spot, and others read twice! 
Westside Pizza offered half the receipts of the evening in support of our annual Teen Writing Camp Intensive in the summer. Thanks to manager Maureen and her team, 22 teens will attend writing camp next summer.
As a teen writing instructor, I’m so thankful to each student for making this special event happen–again. It gives me a such a warm heart to see these young women and men choose to come out with their parents and friends and share their creativity.
If you’re looking for a fun, community-positive way to raise funds, chat with me about how to host your own Story Slam!
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Our 2nd Teen Story Slam is Coming This Spring!

teenstoryslamApril17The teen writers asked for it, so we’re bringing it back! On April 20, 2017, the Teen Story Slam returns. This time, we’re taking over Island Cool, the huge, popular fro-yo restaurant in Lynwood Village on Bainbridge Island.

Teen creative writers in grades 7-12 are invited to step up to the mic to read their own prose for 5 minutes. Anything goes: a short story, a scene from your novel or screenplay, poetry, or wild and wacky true stories. Just keep it PG, please. Every writer who participates gets prize. No competition, no memorization, just pure storytelling awesomeness. In partnership with Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN), the Kitsap Regional Library, and Island Cool Frozen Yogurt, benefits from the event will support our Teen Writers Workshop after school writing program, and Teen Creative Writing Summer Camp. (More info to come on the camp. We’re going even bigger and brighter this year!)

Beloved Bainbridge High School English teacher Noah Barfield will serve as master of ceremonies. Mr. Barfield is known in the community for his achievements as a playwright, and among his students as a comedian.

At the inaugural Teen Story Slam we had 23 intrepid writers who kept the standing-room-only audience rapt. Will you share your magical words with us in April?

WHEN: Thursday, April 20th, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm (Island Cool has offered to keep the party going if stories remain to be told, but you must sign up!)

WHERE: Island Cool Frozen Yogurt, 4642 Lynwood Center Rd, NE, Bainbridge Island 98110

SIGN UP online here, at the Reference Desk at the Bainbridge Library, or by calling 206-842-4162.

Registration is required to participate. Family and friends are welcome to come cheer on the writers! Donations will support the Teen Writers Workshop at Bainbridge Public Library.

*I co-facilitate a free Teen Writers Workshop with author Margaret Nevinski, MFA. Students meet for the Workshop on the 2nd Thursday of every month during the school year. We also host a week-long Teen Creative Writing Summer Camp each summer that is free to writers in grades 7-12.

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Teen Story Slam 2016 is coming!

teenstoryslam2016

On Bainbridge Island, we have a wonderful bi-annual celebration of storytelling called Story Slam. Held at a local restaurant, The Treehouse Cafe, friends and neighbors dare to take the stage to tell a 5-minute true story, without props. Random judges chosen from the always-packed-to-the-rafters audience tally scores to determine three winners. The stories are always memorable; funny, heartfelt, or downright frightening. The slam events are organized by the multi-talented Wendy Wallace, and benefits go to our Teen Writers Workshop and Teen Creative Writing Summer Camp. Earlier this year I thought, “Wouldn’t it be incredible for our talented teen writers to have a turn? No competition, no memorization, just pure storytelling awesomeness.”

That dream is becoming a reality!

In partnership with Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) and the Kitsap Regional Library, we’re hosting our very first Teen Story Slam at Westside Pizza on Bainbridge Island on Wednesday, November 2nd!

We invite all Kitsap-area writers in grades 7-12 to share a story they’ve written. All participants will receive a prize!

Teens are welcome to read from their pages for a five-minute (or less) time limit. We want to hear short stories, poems, a chapter from their novel, a true story–anything goes! We welcome any genre as well, from Sci-Fi to Fantasy, contemporary, comedy, and crime mystery. (PG content only, of course.)

Beloved Bainbridge High School English teacher Noah Barfield will serve as master of ceremonies. Mr. Barfield has braved the Story Slam stage, and won. He is also known in the community for his achievements as a playwright, and among his students as a comedian.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 2nd, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm (Come early and get dinner!)

WHERE: Westside Pizza, 323 High School Road, Bainbridge Island 98110
Interested teens can SIGN UP at the Reference Desk at the Bainbridge Library. (Say hi to Teen Librarian, Jenny Bloom!)
Registration is required to participate.

Family and friends are welcome to come cheer on the writers! Donations will support the Teen Writers Workshop at Bainbridge Public Library.

 

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