Come out and hear some outrageous, funny and heartwarming stories all told in under 5 minutes, live on stage! The audience chooses the winner and a storytelling star is born! The winners of each slam go on to compete in The Best of Valley Voices at the Academy of Music in January.

Upcoming Events


Now or Never
Thursday, September 23, 7:30 p.m.
Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, Greenfield MA
Auditions open: August 9–27

Let Me Explain…
Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.
Auditions open: September 1– October 1
Buy Tickets!

Family Drama
Thursday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.
BOMBYX Center for Art & Equity, Florence, MA
Auditions open: October 2–November 5
Buy Tickets!

First Time
Thursday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. (rescheduled from 10/28)
El Mercado, Holyoke, MA
In collaboration with Nueva Esperanza and El Corazón/The Heart of Holyoke and featuring stories from the Latinx community in Spanish and English.
Auditions open for stories in Spanish and English through December 3
Buy Tickets!

Subscribe and Listen to the Valley Voices Podcast

Valley Voices Podcast

Listen to stories from earlier in our season on theValley Voices Podcast!

Stream Here

Here’s how to audition

During the set audition period, call our designated phone line 413-735-6688 and share the first line of your story and your contact information. Please share only the first line, as you would tell it the night of the slam. If you are auditioning for “First Time,” please call 413-437-0410 to hear instructions in both Spanish and English.

  • Now or Never: Auditions open: August 9–27
  • Let Me Explain…: Auditions open: September 1–October 1
  • Family Drama: Auditions open: October 2–November 5
  • First Time: Auditions open for stories in Spanish and English open: August 9–December 3. Please call 413-437-0410 to audition for “First Time.” You will hear instructions here in both Spanish and English.

Storytellers will be selected based on the strength of their first line and will be invited to share their story live at Valley Voices. Selected storytellers are encouraged to attend a free storytelling workshop, which will help to cultivate personal stories into performances. Storytellers will be offered the opportunity to purchase one ticket for a friend — we know you want moral support while you’re up on that stage!

STORY SLAM RULES

Stories must be submitted for consideration through New England Public Media’s designated phone line during the open audition period for each show. Share the first line of your story as you would tell it the night of the slam. Your name, email and phone number need to be recorded on voicemail. Please speak clearly and slowly. Phone line: 413-735-6688.

  • Stories must be personal, first-person narrative and from your life experience.
  • Stories must be told without notes, props, costumes, or musical instruments.
  • Your story must relate to the theme.
  • Your story must be 5 minutes or less! We’ll give you a one-minute warning at the four-minute mark to help you keep on time.
  • You must be 18 or older and reside in New England.
  • If you’ve participated in a Valley Voices story slam or auditioned for previous seasons you are welcome to re-audition. (If you’ve taken home the gold in The Best of Valley Voices, you may not compete in the next season.)
  • If you take 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in a slam, you cannot participate in other slams during the season (you will be moving on to The Best of Valley Voices).
  • All storytellers must agree to have their story recorded for use on the Valley Voices Podcast and filmed for the Valley Voices website and YouTube channel.
  • The top 3 storytellers for each slam will go on to compete in The Best of Valley Voices at the Academy of Music, at the end of the season. If you place in the top three during a slam, you must commit to sharing a story for The Best of Valley Voices. The top three storytellers will automatically be featured on the Valley Voices podcast.

JUDGING

  • Members of the Academy of Music and New England Public Media staff will select 10 storytellers and 2 alternates for each slam based on the first lines auditioned.
  • Selected storytellers will be notified and are invited to participate in a storytelling workshop before the Story Slam to hone their story.
  • At each slam, audience members will vote for their favorite story, and the top three storytellers will advance to The Best of Valley Voices.

PRIZES

The top 3 storytellers for each slam will go on to compete in The Best of Valley Voices at the Academy of Music. If you are in the top three, you must commit to sharing a story for The Best of Valley Voices. The top three storytellers will also be featured on the Valley Voices podcast for that theme. Other stories collected could be used in other podcasts later in the season.

For more information, contact Vanessa Cerillo at 413-735-6605 or vanessa_cerillo@nepm.org.

Keep Up With Valley Voices