Distinct voices and accents, creative sound effects, and unusual stances are some of the tools in a storyteller’s toolbox. Be ready to become familiar enough with 15 fables to be able to retell them in a unique, entertaining way for your audience. Storytelling is a draw category, which means contestants choose their story in a random drawing at the competition and are given 30 minutes to prepare.
Official Rules - 2013
- Participation in storytelling should train students to recreate a familiar story extemporaneously. A selected list of fifteen (15) stories will be announced in the fall of each year. The order of presentation shall be determined by lot before the contest begins. Thirty (30) minutes before the contest begins, the first storyteller shall draw three titles. The storyteller shall immediately choose one of them and return the other two, which will then be placed with the other stories remaining to be drawn. The title chosen shall be recorded by the Event Manager. Each of the succeeding performers shall, at intervals of eight (8) minutes, in turn, follow the same procedure.
- In all rounds, including finals, in ALL levels of competition, a student may NOT repeat a story previously performed in preliminary round at that level of competition. In the event that the student draws a previously performed story, she/he may draw a substitute story.
- After the contestant has drawn a title, the student shall not confer, or communicate in any way with a coach or others until the presentation has been delivered. Each storyteller shall present the storytelling draw slip to the Room Manager or Judge(s) in the round. No books, notes or properties shall be taken to the platform. Introductory comments (which may be preceded by a teaser) must precede the telling of the story. The contestant must not add subplots that change the original plot or violate the story's style, intent, and mood. Cutting of a lengthy story is allowable to meet time constraints. The use of a concluding statement that ties back to the introduction is allowed but not required.
- Because this is not a recitation, the contestant will be judged on the ability to recreate the story in his/her own words, with emphasis on a direct conversational style and spontaneous bodily action. The contestant must maintain the story's mood and format and must deliver the story extemporaneously.
- TIME LIMIT, INCLUDING REQUIRED INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS, IS SIX (6) MINUTES. If the storyteller is warned that time has expired, the storyteller may conclude with one final statement. NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.
Complete speech rules and FAQs on rule interpretations can be found on the MSHSL website.