Be a Youth Teller (Open Call)

Story Crossroads invites K-12 (ages 5-18) students from public, private and home schools from around the world to apply to tell stories for the Story Crossroads Festival on either May 11 or 12, 2021 with 33 youth spots available. Due by April 27th each year.

Virtual and live options will be available for these performance opportunities.

Most live proper-distanced slots will be during the day and night at the Murray City Park on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. We will also – with permission – have some youth teller story video premiered on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 through our Story Crossroads YouTube Channel. Here is what premiered in 2020.

School Representation:

  • Each school district will determine which youth tellers will apply for the Festival. Email with the student’s name, grade, and school as well as guardian’s email and telephone number.
  • Each district-level storytelling festival is allotted a prorated number of performance time slots in the Festival.
  • Any other Salt Lake County district has slots that vary dependent on applicant scores given by our Board.
  • Public schools outside Salt Lake County as well as private, charter, and home schools are considered collectively and also allotted performance time slots based on applicant scores given by our Board.
  • Each time slot represents one story told by a single student or two students in tandem.
  • Festival is held Monday-Thursday of mid-May each year. See our Festival proper-distanced and virtual plans.

 Storytelling Preparation:

  • It is the responsibility of the school and the parents to help the student select and prepare a story for the Festival. These stories must be family-friendly and appropriate for elementary through secondary grades.
  • Youth should receive a minimum of 6-8 hours of development of crafting and performing tales. See the free lesson plans already available representing 6 hours plus assuming at least 2 hours of telling and being coached. This can be done as an individual, class, school, or district. For ready-made storytelling lesson plans, visit or email We launched Story Crossroads Academy, self-led online storytelling courses, that would work as an option.
  • Youth will be telling to audiences of 20 to 100 people at the Festival due to proper-distancing or 1000+ due to virtual options. To prepare, youth should have the opportunity to present their stories to as many audiences as possible (e.g. classes, organizations, or clubs – performing virtually or in-person in a safe manner).

 Storytelling Requirements:

  • Story Crossroads is about the art of oral storytelling. As such, do not read the story.
  • Stories have a 3-6-minute time limit.
  • Story performances (such as skits) do not qualify.
  • Stories shared in other languages (e.g. Spanish, American Sign Language) are highly favored.
  • Music, dance, or other art forms may be incorporated, provided storytelling is the primary focus. Any props should be minimal.
  • Stories may be original or retold. For retold stories, credit must be given to the author or original teller. Tellers are required to receive permission to tell a published story.
  • Avoid stories from picture books. Stories without pictures encourage creativity rather than recitation.

 Application and Acceptance Details:

  • The application deadline is April 27, 2021.
  • Guardian(s) will complete the online application at Details for submitting the video audition are included. Youth selected through district-level festivals are not required to submit a video. Video auditions are reviewed by the Story Crossroads Board. Applicants will be informed of acceptance via email by May 1, 2021.

info@storycrossroads.org • 801-870-5799