Events

Welcome to the National Storytelling Network Events page, where you can find information about upcoming events hosted by NSN. Information on the most current events planned can be found by simply scrolling down this page. You can also find the link to the registration page here.

Looking to submit a proposal for one of NSN’s upcoming events? You’ve come to the right place! Click here to be taken to the submission area.

ANNOUNCING NSN’s Bold New Calendar of Events for 2021!

NSN announces a dynamic calendar of Virtual Events for 2021! YES! We will grow storytellers, share great tales, feature membership voices & voices from the world beyond to build a treasure chest for NSN’s secure future. NSN will produce monthly events in a variety of forms.

There are several Slams & Fringes on the calendar, and bigger events too (Luuv, Earth Up!, the Connected Conference, and Spooked.) Applications for curated Luuv Showcases are open now (see below.) Application forms for Slams and the Fringe series will open very soon.

Also, for the first time this March, NSN is collaborating with Better Said Than Done (out of North Virginia) for the Women’s Storytelling Festival. Plan Ahead! Come Join In! SAVE THESE DATES!

NSN’s 2021 CALENDAR
  • January 9th: Resolute (Live Story Slam) Register now to attend for FREE! (It is our New Year’s gift to you!) If you want to tell a story, add your name to the virtual hat on Story Slam sign-up page. The story slam starts at 8PM EST / 7PM CST / 6PM MST / 5PM PST / 4PM AKST / 3PM HST. Convert to another time zone by entering your city here.
  • February 6th: LUUV – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!!! Early LUUV Show at 4:00 PM Central time, SWOON Story Slam at 7:00 PM Central time (including live drawing for Fringe lottery!), and Late Night Passion at 9:00 PM Central time. SLAM SIGN-UP NOW OPEN! Add your name to the Story Slam sign-up list. Slam Theme: SWOON. Fringe info and application available now!
  • March 19th – 20th: Women’s Storytelling Festival in collaboration with Better Said Than Done. Slam Theme: Fierce. Registration Now Open at bettersaidthandone.com/womens-festival/
  • April 9th-11th: Earth Up Weekend. We will feature Workshops, Performances, a Story Slam, Fringe Performances, a Master Class, Social Time, Panel Discussions, Showcases & School Programs. Applications Now Open! Visit our Earth Up Page for More Information on current open calls.
  • May 15th: Caught in a Bind (Slam + Fringe)
  • June 12th: Amplify (Slam + Fringe)
  • July 21st – 25th: NSN’s Connected Virtual Conference & Festival – Mark your calendars now! Applications coming soon.
  • August 21st: Hot (Slam + Fringe)
  • September 18th: Schooled (Slam + Fringe)
  • October 22nd: 24th – Spooked (Weekend)
  • November 13th: Stuffing (Slam + Fringe)
  • December 11th: Light (Slam + Fringe + Family Show)

Ready to register to attend one or more events? You can find the registration forms for all events with open registration by clicking the button below.

Submit a proposal

Click the section title below for more information on the event and to view the proposal submission form (if currently available).

The NSN Fringe is back for its 14th Season, in a slightly different format. The entire fringe is moving online for 2021 and spreading out over the year. We are working to keep what you love about the NSN fringe while adapting to this new digital reality. You are invited to join us as we continue to explore the limits of storytelling with the NSN Fringe.

Want to present 30 or 55 minutes of your most compelling, riskiest, experimental or work-in-progress storytelling? How about joining forces to create an ensemble performance event? Think of all the possibilities: 30 or 55 minutes of autobiography, performance art, folktales, stand-up, puppetry, dance or your favorite long-form story!

What is the Fringe? The NSN Fringe follows the standard Fringe Festival model by providing the opportunity for you to experience many aspects of a typical Fringe Festival including the selection process and performance framework, but modified for the digital age. New this year: a modest application fee ($10) and artist payouts based on the number of audience members. Both of these are similar to traditional fringe festivals. 

In keeping with the Fringe principle of an un-juried selection process, Fringe performers for the 2021 NSN Fringe will be selected by lottery. 

Fringe Lottery Instructions

To enter the 2021 Online NSN Fringe Lottery, please fill out the form below. NSN members, log in to have fields auto-filled for you. Notes about the questions:

  • Contact Info: If you are submitting an application to perform alone, submit only your info. If you are submitting an application for multiple individuals, share their contact info as well. All of the performers’ names and contact information must be on the application.
  • Length of performance slot: You have two choices: 25-30 minutes or 50-55 minutes. All applicants will be put into the same hat and drawn randomly, so the length of show does not change your odds of being chosen. Performances can seem much longer online than in person. If you are confident that you can engage your audience for the full 50-55 minutes, choose that option. If you are unsure, we suggest you opt for the shorter time.
  • Title & Description: This is how you draw a crowd. Create a clear, catchy title that tells your audience what to expect and entices them. Here are some clear examples that could all be used for the same show: “Matthew Henson: the first African-American Arctic Explorer, “First and then Forgotten: the Matthew Henson Story,” or “The Cold Truth.” Use your title and description together to paint a clear picture. Avoid repetition.
  • Fringe Category Identifications: Select all that apply for your proposed show. A single storyteller presenting a family program selects both “family” and “solo.” Use “family” to identify a program suitable for children.
  • Fringe Standard Content Warnings: Select all that apply for your proposed show, including adult language, adult subject matter, physical or verbal violence. Please note that we will not allow hate speech or nudity on NSN virtual platforms. 
  • Monthly Themes: NSN is providing virtual content for all of 2021. We would love to put your show where it would fit best. Select any and all themes that would be appropriate for your show. Note that fitting a theme does not increase or decrease the odds of being selected. It will simply allow NSN to provide more consistent programming.
  • Performance Options: Because we will be doing the 2021 Fringe online, you may choose to perform live or submit a pre-recorded performance. Live performances give you the option of interacting more with your audience, but could suffer from unpredictable interruptions like internet slowdowns, barking dogs, or neighbors using power tools. Pre-recorded performances give you more options for sound, lighting, and locations, but usually require a basic understanding of video recording and editing.
  • Preferred Format: Both webinars and meetings have benefits and drawbacks. Webinars give you more control over the performance space. They don’t allow audience interruptions, but also don’t let you see your entire audience (though you can invite a select few committed listeners to be on camera). Meetings allow you to see (and hear) up to 49 audience members. This can be wonderful when the screen is filled with engaged listeners. However, those doing the dishes or answering phone calls while you talk can be incredibly distracting.

Submission Deadline: Electronic submissions are due by Midnight CST on February 5, 2021. 

The Fine Print:

Submissions

You may submit one application for the 2021 NSN Fringe, either as a solo or an ensemble, but not both.

Artist Benefits

NSN provides each selected fringe slot with: 

  • Promotion of the materials you provide on social media and in our newsletter
  • A technician to run the technical aspects of the performance
  • Artist payout, as listed below
  • Support materials and resources
  • Online platform for the performance
  • Inclusion in the NSN Digital Library

Artist Payout

Each fringe show will be paid $1.50 per live audience member for 30 minute shows or $3 per live audience member for 50 minute shows, for the date and time the show airs. The same amount will be paid regardless of the number of people performing. Each fringe show will determine how payouts should be distributed among performers. No additional artist payouts will be made for viewings of recordings in the Virtual Library. 

Notification of Selection

The lottery drawing will be held on February 6, 2021 on Facebook Live. You may watch the drawing live from the NSN Facebook page for free at approximately 8:30 PM CST, or join us for the story slam that night and stay for the drawing. You will receive an email from the Fringe Committee within 48 hours of the lottery with the official results. Applicants will be assigned slots based on theme preferences in the order in which they are drawn. This means that if all slots are filled in the theme you request, your show may be assigned to a different theme. Note that fringe shows do not necessarily have to correspond to weekend themes. 

Deadline for Acceptance

Within two weeks of notification, you will need to confirm your participation.

Waiting List

More names than available performance slots will be drawn for a waiting list and will be moved from the waiting list should performance slots become available.

Eligibility

Performing in the NSN Fringe is a member benefit. You do not need to be an NSN member to apply, but you will be required to join NSN to perform. The NSN fringe is not limited to only storytelling – spoken word, dance, music, and performance art are all welcome. NSN members, including Board and Committee members, are eligible to participate in the lottery and perform. Applications also require a $10 application fee. Scholarships are available for those unable to afford the $10 fee. 

You must reapply for each NSN Fringe. No applications from previous years will be held over.

Performing Space

All Fringe performances will be held online via Zoom, Big Marker, or a similar web-based platform. Performers are responsible for their own lighting, sound, and internet quality. NSN will provide a technician to run the meeting and introduce you and your performance. All performers are required to log into the online platform 30 minutes before the performance begins for a brief tech check. 

Performance Schedule

Fringe slots may be scheduled parallel to story swaps or other fringe performances. Time limits will be strictly observed as this track is intended to serve as an opportunity for storytellers (performers and audience members alike) to experience Fringe Festival requirements. 

Content

Fringe performances are not pre-screened or censored, with a few exceptions. We expect you to indicate difficult or potentially offensive material in the content warnings. Total nudity, explicit sexual contact, and hate speech are forbidden in NSN Fringe performances; male and female genitals and female breasts must be covered. Content disclaimers (warnings) are to be shown in all advertising and any other digital media. Public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation is forbidden. 

Sign-offs

As part of confirming your participation, you must agree to the following:

1) Content policy. Total nudity, explicit sexual contact, and hate speech are forbidden in NSN Fringe performances as spelled out above. 

2) Include the NSN Disclaimer on all promotion and publicity materials. Use the following text:  “The National Storytelling Network (NSN) is not responsible or liable for the form and content of this performance: these are the sole responsibility of the individual performer(s).”

Audience

NSN Fringe Performances will be open to NSN members and the general public. 

Promotion

In keeping with Fringe Festival tradition, if you want an audience, you need to self-promote your performance. The Fringe Committee recommends that you NOT rely only on advertising from NSN, but utilize additional promotion. Plan your promotion and submit your digital image to NSN at least 30 days before your performance. You’ll want to grab attendees’ attention and leave them wanting to see your performance. Digital images must include: NSN logo, your show image, title, registration link, date & time. You may also want to include your show description and consider other forms of digital promotion like creating a facebook event. If you want your image included in the NSN newsletter, submit it no later than the 25th day of the month before your performance. We recommend Canva.com as a free online tool to create promotional material.

NSN Virtual/Digital Library

While providing digital content, NSN has found that viewers appreciate having an option to rewatch a show they loved or view something they missed. Our Virtual Library is a way to both provide this service and help to create a small passive income stream for NSN. We hope that this library will help us along the path toward financial sustainability. Since we do not know how much income will be generated from this endeavor, we are asking our artists to allow us to use their recordings for a set time without additional payments. This allows us to assess the sustainability of the library service while avoiding spending dozens of hours of staff time cutting royalty checks to artists for insignificant amounts (like $5 per person). 

All fringe recordings will be added to NSN’s Virtual Library for a period of four years. You will retain the copyright for your performance, and will give NSN permission to sell viewing access to your performance through the library. You will also be provided with a copy of the recording to use/sell/distribute as you see fit. Other than the payment mentioned above for live audience members, you will not be compensated for NSN’s use of the video. You understand that you may use your copy of your individual performance video in any way you like. After four years, any use of the video by NSN must be renegotiated by both parties.

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to perform your new, old, in progress, lively, risky, long-form, or experimental work with NSN’s support. Submit your application today!


Contact Information


Proposal Information

Your description will be utilized in the conference program and on the NSN conference website.
Please note that we will not allow hate speech or nudity on NSN virtual platforms.
Note that fitting a theme does not increase or decrease the odds of being selected. It will simply allow NSN to provide more consistent programming.

Application Fee & Payment Information

Total: $

Discount code users: the Submit button will remain inactive (“grayed out”) until the discount code field has been populated with the correct code. If you have been provided a discount code and the Submit button will not activate after entering your discount code, please check that it has been entered exactly as presented to you.

Making (and breaking) New Year’s Resolutions are common this time of year. Come share your story about the time you didn’t give up, how obstacles did not stop you, how you persevered despite all odds. Or, how you tried and failed. We are looking for stories of bold action, steady hands, and firm determination. Share your story of climbing a mountain, or finally tackling the mountain of paperwork building up on your kitchen table. What kept you going? What stopped you?

Twelve storytellers, chosen at random, will confess their personal 5-minute story on the theme “Resolute.” The audience decides the winners.
First prize: $100. Second Prize: $50. Third Prize: $25.

If you would like to tell a story in the NSN Slam, please fill out and submit this form in its entirety. This is the form to put your name in the “virtual hat” to be able to tell a story. The tellers and order will be determined live on January 9, 2021.

RULES:

  1. You will have 5 minutes to tell your story with a 30-second grace period. At six minutes, your story will be cut off. The audience will take the length of your story into account in their voting.
  2. Your story must be a true personal story that happened to you, related to the theme: Resolute.
  3. You must also register for the Slam, either as a single ticketed event, or as part of a package deal.
  4. You must agree to have your story recorded, and give NSN the rights to use that story in the future (more details below).
  5. The winners, voted on by the audience will receive:
    First Place: $100
    Second Place: $50
    Third Place: $25

If you would like to tell a story in the NSN Slam, please fill out and submit this form in its entirety. This is the form to put your name in the “virtual hat” to be able to tell a story. NOTE: You will still need to register for the slam.

FOCUS OF LUUV: What makes you swoon or gets your heart pumping? Delve into romantic or playful love stories that are personal, from folklore, or original. This particular program focuses on teens and adults.

The Call for Proposals for the LUUV Showcase is now closed.

<!– TEXT USED FOR CFP

WHAT WE OFFER YOU: NSN wants to support artists while financing its existence. We will pay $50-$150 (or basically $10 a minute up to $150). The actual fee for the length of the story will be adjusted accordingly. Recordings, with your permission, will be part of NSN’s digital library with copyright still owned by you. This digital release is sent upon official acceptance.

SHOWCASE DEADLINE = December 12, 2020, story to be shown on February 6, 2021

Send your pre-recorded 12-20-minute story or up to 2 short stories up to that 20-minute time.

Please pay attention to your backdrop, sound, lighting, and video quality during recording. (For a quick overview of what NOT to do, watch this: https://youtu.be/fF62SSITKsg) Please submit recordings at highest quality. The committee reserves the right to consult with you for a re-recording if the submitted version does not meet our needs.

You will be notified of the results. –>

RULES:

  1. You will have 5 minutes to tell your story with a 30-second grace period. At six minutes, your story will be cut off. The audience will take the length of your story into account in their voting.
  2. Your story must be a true personal story that happened to you, related to the theme: SWOON.
  3. You must also register for the Slam, either as a single ticketed event, or as part of a package deal.
  4. You must agree to have your story recorded, and give NSN the rights to use that story in the future (more details below).
  5. The winners, voted on by the audience will receive:
    First Place: $100
    Second Place: $50
    Third Place: $25

Slam Call for Proposals – SWOON as part of LUUV

By providing your email address, you agree to receive emails from NSN.
This is used by NSN only for urgent questions or emergencies.
Please no more than 100 characters (roughly 50-word) count.

Slam Registration

Acknowledgements

Type name above (serves as online signature)
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