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National Storytelling Conference Performance Opportunities
July 23-26, 2020
Decatur, Georgia


Fringe Performances

The Fringe at the National Storytelling Summit is back for its 14th Season!

Explore the limits of storytelling at the National Storytelling Summit.

Want to present 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: 55 minutes of autobiography, performance art, folktales, stand-up, puppetry, dance or your favorite long-form story!

Submission Deadline: midnight CST on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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.

In keeping with the Fringe principle of an un-juried selection process, Fringe performers for the 2020 National Storytelling Conference will be selected by lottery. To enter the lottery, please complete and submit the electronic form below.

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to perform your new, old, in progress, lively, risky, long-form, or experimental work during the National Storytelling Conference. Submit your application today!



Submission Deadline: midnight CST on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Showcase Performances

Submission Deadline: midnight CST on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Calling all styles of tellers – come SHOWCASE your work!

Want to perform at the NSN Conference? Here is your chance! We are curating four showcases, each with a different theme to showcase different kinds of talent. This year we will have four very different showcases with 4-5 tellers in each one.



Submission Deadline: midnight CST on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

National Grand Slam

You are invited to participate in the 2020 National Grand Slam at NSN’s Storytelling Conference in Decatur, Georgia July 23-26.

All styles of stories will be allowed at The National Story Slam – personal narrative, traditional, myths, legends, fairy tales, folklore, tall tales and any other form you come up with. However, all stories must be told in the first person, stick to the five-minute time limit and their story must somehow relate to the conference theme, Empathy: The Storyteller’s Superpower.

Regional Grand Slam winners are being offered spots in the National Grand Slam; depending on how many accept, the remaining slots will be filled from the two preliminary qualifying Slams (Thursday night and Friday night). Anyone attending the conference can drop their name in the hat and have the opportunity to participate in the qualifying Slams.

At all Slams the host picks names from the hat completely at random. There are only 10 spots available for each of qualifying Slams as well as the finals which will be held Saturday, July 25th. For the Finals, qualifiers do not need to tell the same story, but they can if they choose.

So, at the very least, the winner of each of the two qualifying Slams will advance and have an opportunity to win the National Grand Slam.

Judging…we believe in a truly democratic system (one person, one vote) and our champion will be chosen, unlike other Slams, by audience vote using the texting app Polleverywhere. The host receives the vote count, and when all votes are in…the teller with the highest percentage will be crowned the 2020 National Grand Slam Champion, who not only gets bragging rights but will also receive a nice cash prize!

There will also be prizes for second & third place!

What do you have to lose? Join us in Decatur and you could be 2020 National Grand Slam Champion!