A Sandburg Story Slam

Sandburg speaking with an NBC microphone

Story Slam 2021
Carl Sandburg Home NHS will host a virtual story slam in honor of Carl Sandburg’s January 6th birthday. Throughout the month of January, storytellers are invited to prepare a true five-minute story, take a video of themselves reading the story, and submit the video to be shared on the official Carl Sandburg Home Facebook page at facebook.com/CarlSandburgHomeNHS.

Videos will be posted on Facebook from January 27-29, and the winners announced on Saturday, January 30, at 10am. Stories should reflect the theme of “seasons,” such as nature’s change of seasons, a story from a favorite season, or the seasons of life. Visit www.nps.gov/carl/planyourvisit/slam.htm for submission information and video formatting tips. Submissions are due by January 22, 2021.

A panel of judges will rate the stories, with first place awarded $100, second place $75, and third place, $50. All finalists will receive a small thank you gift for participating. The winners will be announced via Facebook on Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 10am.

Support for the Slam is provided by the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, the park’s fundraising partner, and by Eastern National, the partner that manages our bookstore.

Submission Criteria for storytellers - Stories must be:
  • 5 minutes in length.
  • Your story to tell - a true story from your life. Strictly nonfiction. No poems, notes, music (instruments), props, or stand-up comedy.
  • Related to the theme of “seasons.”
  • Family friendly.
  • Appropriate and respectful of other peoples’ identities (gender, orientation, race, religion, culture, etc).
  • email your submission by January 24, 2021 to carl_administration@nps.gov. In your email, include your full name and current phone number, email address, and the name of your story.
  • Video formatting. Cell phones work great to record videos. For best results use a tripod or phone stand. Please submit a .mp4 file if possile. Use a high quality setting, at least 1080p at 30fps. Landscape or horizontal orientation preferred.
    • Introduction: Make sure to include your name (first name only is fine), the title of your story, and brief description of where you are when recording the video, i.e... "I'm sitting in my living room," "I'm standing outside near a tree," etc... This will help with accessibility features of the video.
    • You may also submit the text of your story to assist with captioning. Autogenerated captioning software will be used and some errors may occur.
  • Judges Rating: Judges will rate your story on original “true life” content, theme, and purpose. Presentation skills and style will also be important factors.

Last updated: September 7, 2021

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