Lancaster Story Slam: HippoCamp Edition – Theme Announcement

Hippocampus Magazine and Books is pleased to welcome our friends from Lancaster Story Slam to this year’s event, as they produce a special HippoCamp Edition of their monthly, live storytelling event.

On Friday, Aug. 13, we’ll welcome up to 10-12 storytellers to the stage to share their story.

The theme is:

We’ll also have door prizes between stories so that everyone in attendance has a chance to play along, whether they sign up to tell a story or not.

What is a Story Slam?

Just in case story slams are new to you, we thought we’d give some background.

A Story Slam is an open mic event where real people (hopefully you!) take the stage and tell a personal, true story. Think of it as an oral version of your creative nonfiction, told onstage without notes to an engaged audience!

You might tell a story inspired by a chapter of your memoir, or maybe share a story about the joy, sadness and frustration of writing and publishing your creative nonfiction. The story you tell may have nothing to do with your current project, maybe it’s that classic story your friends beg you to tell when you are gathered at a bar or party.

When we do readings, we writers often hide behind the podium and keep our eyes down on the pages, but Story Slam stretches you to tell your story casually in a way that captivates the audience.

While a Story Slam is a competition, we don’t take the competitive part too seriously. Our goal is to provide a fun night of stories, and we are always thrilled to see new participants hop on stage.


  • Put your name in and sign a video release form before the event starts (doors open at 7:45)
  • We’ll randomly select 10-12 storytellers (based on how we’re doing on time)


If you’re interested in participating, here’s an overview of the rules, which will also be explained at the event.

  • Storytellers sign up* upon arrival. Names are drawn out of a hat to decide order of presentation.
  • Stories should fit into the theme of the night!
  • Stories should be true as you remember it!
  • Stories should be under five minutes in length!
  • No Notes, No Props, No Music!
  • Three judges are selected from the audience.
    • Each storyteller is given a score on a scale of 1-10 for two different criteria: content and presentation.
  • At the end of the night, the winner and runner-up will be announced and prizes awarded.

The best advice we’ve heard is this: Know the first sentence of your story and know the last sentence of your story. If you know where you are starting and have your destination in sight, you’ll do just fine!

*When registering, storytellers are asked to sign a release stating they agree to have video of them telling their story posted on Youtube and possibly a podcast. Storytellers retain all rights to their stories.

Sample Story Slam Stories

To both give you an example of story slam stories and provide you with 15 minutes of entertainment, here are three sample stories for the archives, including a past HippoCamp winning story!

Allison K Williams tells about her world travels and how she met her current husband. The theme was “Curiosity.”



Patrice Gopo tells about how a search brought her neighborhood closer together. The theme of the night was “Curiosity.”



Randy Bucksner tells about how his childhood curiosity led to trouble. The theme was “Curiosity.”


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