Earth Up: Call for Showcases


Stories and Science: Eco-justice and Action

 Empower your mind. Empower your spirit. Empower your very soul.

Stories speak to the head through the heart, and our hearts are aching a lot these days as fires, floods, droughts, typhoons, a loss of biodiversity, heat islands, COVID and a questionable future plague our every waking minute. In addition to these miseries, the ongoing racial injustice that feels endemic to our nation, is crushing the health and spirit of many black, brown, and indigenous communities. These issues are not separate, and this year’s Earth-Up conference will focus on creating and sharing stories about this essential intersection. We want to leave this conference with stories that we can use in our communities, legislature, and local governments to wake everyone up to this confluence and compel us all to commit to a clean, just future.


July 27-31, 2022 NSN will bring together storytellers from all over the United States and the world!

The NSN 2021 Conference, Connected: Creating Tomorrow, is seeking submissions from producers from across the spectrum of the oral narrative art form who would like to propose a Showcase for inclusion addressing the Conference theme from myriad directions. We are looking for Showcases about changing the status quo, innovating today’s social and political environments, honoring the past, transforming the future, and utilizing stories and storytelling to impact meaningful change.

Please explain how you think your Showcase proposal fits the conference theme. “Connected” and “Creating Tomorrow” are phrases with many meanings; there is much we can preserve and learn from the past, while simultaneously working to instill hope and possibility in the future. We are looking for showcases that address change, innovation, creativity, connection, transformation, etc. We expect a wide range of Showcases with different topics and approaches to the theme. They may focus on specific issues, communities, geographies, story types, and more. All kinds of Showcases are welcome and they may include personal stories, folk tales, original stories, historical and biographical narratives, other art forms that use story, and more. All kinds of storytellers are welcome, especially those from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented at NSN conferences and festivals. Propose a Showcase that reflects your understanding of the theme, a Showcase about which you are passionate, a Showcase that you feel needs to be told and heard.


Individual Showcase producers will invite storytellers to join their Showcases, bringing together performers from the larger storytelling community. In an effort to expand our reach, one requirement for all Showcases is that at least one person performing must not have performed with NSN in the past. (This means that one person per Showcase must not have been a featured teller at an NSN-sponsored event, a fringe performer, or a workshop leader. Previous participation in NSN slams or swaps does not count toward this requirement.)

A Showcase should be 75 minutes in length. Please include descriptions of the skills you bring to the role of Showcase producer, similar events you have produced in the past, and your specific goals in producing this Showcase. NSN will also be curating 2-3 Showcases that address the conference theme. It is assumed that conference presentations will primarily be live and synchronous, but Showcases may also include quality recordings of stories.

You are welcome to submit more than one (1) Showcase proposal, but can only be selected to present one (1) Showcase. Those producing a Showcase may also present a workshop, provided separate proposals for both are submitted and selected. Showcase producers may tell as a part of their Showcase, but may not perform in another Showcase. You are welcome to submit individual stories for consideration using the Call for Stories, however, you cannot be selected to produce a Showcase and tell a separate story in another Showcase. Participating in other NSN events outside of the conference does not prohibit participation in Connected.

NSN is committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in all of our practices and presentations. NSN’s stated Values include:

“Responsive Innovation: Continuous adaptation of our work in response to changing and community needs.
Cultural Awareness and Engagement: Sensitivity and respect for diverse individuals and communities.
Inclusion: Advancement of equity by elevating underrepresented voices.”

NSN has also issued a “Statement on Racism, Discrimination, and Injustice.” Please explain how your Showcase will support and further these core values.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 11:59pm Sunday, January 12, 2022, Central US Time.


A $100 flat fee will be paid to the Producer and to each teller in the Showcase. Given the 75-minute Showcase length, it is assumed that a Showcase would involve 4-6 people, including the producer, and that the total expense budget for each Showcase would be $400.00 – $600.00 USD. If you have a reason to suggest a format outside of these parameters, please specify how and why the Showcase would need an exception, what the total budget would be, and how the tellers would be compensated.

Additionally, Showcase producers and tellers will receive a 40% discount on Connected Conference registration. Showcases will be recorded and become part of the NSN digital library for one (1) year.


SUBMISSION DEADLINE is 11:59 pm on Monday, May 10, 2021

Fill out the form below with all relevant information and attachments.

You will be notified of the results by February 28, 2022

You will receive a copy of your proposal via email after your submission is complete.

NEW THIS YEAR: You may now save a working draft of your proposal by scrolling to the bottom of the form and selecting “Save.” Users are responsible for maintaining their own drafts and remembering to submit their completed proposal before the deadline. NSN will not be able to recover lost drafts.

Email with any questions not answered here.

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