Writers Susan Cormier and Bryant Ross are hosting the Vancouver Story Slam championship finals on Dec. 12. Facebook photo by Emile ten Den.

Langley writers host Vancouver Story Slam championship

Storytelling event features 10 writers sharing their work in front of a live audience

It’s a unique storytelling event that has gathered popularity around the world.

Vancouver Story Slam will be holding its championship finals at the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Produced and hosted by Langley writers Susan Cormier and Bryant Ross, story slam is a literary competition, similar to a poetry slam, where 10 storytellers share their writing in front of a live audience. Audience members vote for their favourites, prizes are awarded, and top storytellers advance to the finals in pursuit of the championship trophy and title.

This year’s championship will feature stories from Al Tee, Alix Born, Cory Thibert, David Johnson, Emily Kelsall, Griffin Tedeschini, Mike Funergy, Reive Doig, Shlomo McPeake, and Spillious, plus a guest story from Ross, a two-time Vancouver Story Slam champion.

Leading up to the championship, around 100 different storytellers —ranging from casual journal writers to published authors — take the stage in Story Slam events held throughout the year. Everyone is invited to participate, as writers do not need to fill any qualifications, memorize their writing or create content of a certain style or subject matter.

More than $2,000 in cash prizes are handed out, and profits from the shows are returned to the community in the form of a $1,000 scholarship to someone pursuing post-secondary education in the field of writing.

Created in 2004 by writers Johnny Frem and Sean McGarragle, Vancouver Story Slam is one of Canada’s longest-running live competitive story slam events. It began as an intimate gathering of a few dozen writers in the Our Town Café on Broadway.

Around the same time, a group in New York — called The Moth — was also started, and today there are now countless other groups of writers and performers hosting similar events from Montréal to Singapore.

Tickets for the Vancouver Story Slam championship finals are $15 at the door or $12 in advance through the Rio Theatre website. Doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m.

For more details, visit the “Vancouver Story Slam” Facebook page.

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