What makes a 2nd Story story different from any other story?

Our 2017-2018 Submission Drive is now open through February 17th! We are so excited to begin the search for new stories and new storytellers.

Some 2nd Story storytellers identify as writers/performers, but many do not. Many found their way into the chair as a storyteller after inspiration hit them while in a 2nd Story audience; we love when that happens. 2nd Story’s core values revolve around providing a place for people to tell the stories that need to be told, whether the teller considers themselves a performer or not.

The mantra we’ve been holding onto recently is “Now is the time to tell the stories we need to tell,” as inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s essay found here. Our stories cut into the truth of things; they are intimate and unabashed. Think about telling stories with your best friend over a good glass of wine, cup of coffee, or slice of cake. That’s the closeness that 2nd Story seeks to create. If you’re not sure what we mean, the best way to find out is by coming to see an event. Check out what we do, check out the audience, and really listen. If you have questions, ask to speak with someone while you’re at the event and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting started.

For further examples of 2nd Story stories, you can check out our podcast, our show on Chicago Public Radio, these awesome articles about what we do.

We tell stories that are real. We shy away from the word “true”, as memory can be a tricky beast, and we use a lot of literary techniques to tell the best stories we can. But your story must be your story (and not your sister’s or your friend’s), and must have actually happened. It’s okay to consolidate characters, or to play with timing or sequence, but the majority of the story must be something you can stand behind as truth. Because our audience has access to our artists after their performance, storytellers frequently find themselves approached by an audience member who starts off with something like “Your story really spoke to me, that happened to me, too!” and it is critical for what we do that the teller is able to engage with that other human about a real shared experience.

Now is the time to tell stories that need telling.

Now is the time to stand up, speak up, show up.

Is now the time to tell YOUR story? We hope so.

NOTE: We do NOT encourage submissions from people who haven’t experienced our work.  We tell stories in a very particular style, with a huge focus on audience, and it’s important to us that our tellers have had that experience before getting in the chair.