top of page

Everyone has a story to tell.
Does yours have what it takes to win our first ever Story Slam?

Story Slam-1.png

Enter Ojai Story Festival’s first ever Story Slam!

What you need to know:


Deadline 11:59pm August 15th!

Anyone age 16 and over can enter – all you need is a little bit of courage and a TRUE, five-minute story that suits this year’s theme, THE FIRST TIME.

Applications are in the form of a recorded (mp3 or mp4) 2-minute excerpt of your story. All entries will be judged by a panel and six will be selected to tell at the Ojai Storytelling Festival on Thursday, October 26. Those selected to tell will receive a weekend ticket to the Festival!


  • Your story must connect to the theme, THE FIRST TIME, in some way. You do not need to say the words ‘THE FIRST TIME’ in your story, but you do need to connect your story to the idea. Use your imagination in how to interpret the theme.

  • True, original stories only. Names can be changed but the story must have happened.

  • Contestants must be at least 16 years old.

  • Stories must be told, not read. No notes, props, or music.

  • Content must be suitable for a general audience, aged 13 and up.

  • Former featured Ojai Storytelling Festival tellers are not eligible to enter.

  • Be sure it’s a story with a beginning, middle and end, and not a joke or anecdote.

  • No “isms” will be tolerated-The Ojai Storytelling Festival strives to create a safe, inclusive and affirming community space to share our life experiences with one another. If a storyteller expresses oppressive views or derogatory language (racist, sexist, cis-sexist, heterosexist, classist, ableist, etc.) on the OSF mic, they will be cut off mid‐story and not permitted to tell again in the future. Story is one of the most powerful tools available for building empathy and understanding across differences, so we hope that OSF is able to do just that.

  • You’ll be notified if you’ve been chosen for the Slam by October 1.


First place: $200

Second place: $100

Third place: $50


You can enter by recording a 2 minute audio excerpt of your story in mp3 or mp4 format and emailing it to Make sure the excerpt conveys how your story will relate to the theme “THE FIRST TIME.”

Email your recording to:

Subject Line: Story Slam 2023

Please include your full name, email address, and phone number.

Deadline to enter is 11:59pm August 15th. You’ll be notified by phone if you’re in the top six by September 30. 

REMEMBER! It's a competition – and if you are selected to tell at the Festival, you’ll only have five minutes at the mic to wow the judges. You will be judged on your performance, how well the story is crafted, its connection to the theme, and adherence to the 5-minute time limit. Please remember you do not have to say the theme ‘THE FIRST TIME’ in your story; it only needs to be implied. Be creative!

We can't wait to hear your stories!

Story Slam Rules

Get in Touch


  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
bottom of page