StoryOly Hits Another Grand Slam

By Alec Clayton

The storytellers at StoryOly are at it again. The fourth-annual StoryOly Grand Slam competition will be held at Rhythm & Rye Saturday, September 7.

StoryOly is Olympia’s premiere story-slam event. Community members come together every month to share, compete and tell true stories based on a monthly theme. Past themes have included such ideas as most embarrassing moments, getting even and getting what one deserves. Past stories have been sexy, funny, sad and enlightening. These storytellers have a penchant for revealing their darkest secrets.

Storytelling competitions are held once a month at Rhythm & Rye. Every month a winner is chosen by a three-person panel of volunteer judges, and the winner of each month’s slam throughout the year goes to the Grand Slam in September.

StoryOly co-founder Elizabeth Lord.

According to co-founder Elizabeth Lord, StoryOly aims to encourage and develop community engagement and connection through the medium of storytelling. Co-created and produced by Amy Shephard, the first StoryOly slam took place in November 2015.   

Judges at the Grand Slam will be:

  • Beth Doglio, state representative for the 22nd legislative district
  • Tim McLeod, community-health educator with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands
  • Jill Barnes, executive director of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts

Each month half the proceeds from the door are donated to a local, nonprofit organization.  Half of the Grand Slam proceeds will be donated to Interfaith Works.

Not only will there be great stories, there will be live music featuring Michelle Alany & The Mystics — a fiddle-driven caravan of klezmer, Balkan, Sephardic and eastern swing music with original soul. With a musically diverse and highly skilled cast of musicians, violinist and vocalist Michelle Alany creates a mesmerizing performance that will stir the soul, lift the voice and ignite the spirit. 


Fourth-annual StoryOly Grand Slam Competition


8 p.m. Saturday, September 7, 2019


Rhythm & Rye,
311 Capital Way N, Olympia


$10-$20 at the door,
Advance tickets available online


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