Sep 22, 2022

Kansas Tall Tales preliminaries set for next month in Downs

Posted Sep 22, 2022 10:01 AM


Introducing a uniquely named larger-than-life main character, one with heroic qualities in an unusual setting, will immediately capture the audience's attention at the Kansas Storytelling Tall Tale Contest. The annual tall tale contest will be October 8, in Downs, Kansas, at 7 p.m., at the Zion Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 1019 Blunt St.

A tall tale is a story with fantastical elements as if it were factual. Some tall tales are exaggerations of actual events, such as the clever and cunning fish that got away, told by last year's winner, Rich White, McPherson. Other tall tales are fictional tales set in a familiar setting and experiences such as bird hunting in a state park in the fall or the shenanigans of friends growing up. 

Kenneth Lee, Master Storyteller shares, "It's good to include a character with extraordinary abilities, extraordinary. You also want to include a humorous way to solve a problem, mixing in some exaggeration and credible details." 

"Sprinkle in clever twists and puns throughout the story," said Allen Debey, Kansas Storytelling Festival Tall Tales winner, and professional storyteller. 

"The story's last lines should make the audience chuckle or groan." Michael Gutierrez, a committee member, adds. It's also important to practice so that the story is within the time limit of 7 minutes. The popular October preliminary contest will narrow down the contestants who will move on to vie for the traveling trophy, the storytelling shovel, at the Kansas Storytelling Festival Tall Tale Contest in April.

Mark October 8 on your calendar if you will be telling a larger-than-life story AND if you intend to come and listen to some great tall tales. Encourage friends who always have you in stitches or on the edge of your chair with their storytelling. There's no better time than now to tell their tales. 

Audience participation is essential because attendees have a deciding vote along with a panel of judges. The event is free with snacks during intermission.  

For more information and to register to tell a story in the competition, call 785-454-1177 or email [email protected].