Information for Annals Story Slam Storytellers

Preparing Your Story

Story slams are events that celebrate storytelling by inviting participants to share brief stories with an audience. Participants deliver the stories verbally, and, at some story slams, attendees vote for the “best” story.

Think carefully about the story you want to share. Aim for sharing a story that conveys the fascinating, awe-inspiring, exciting, and fulfilling nature of doctoring. Avoid profanity; refrain from slander; and be respectful of patients, colleagues, and others mentioned in your story. Tasteful humor is welcome. However, please keep in mind that the event’s purpose is to share inspiring, thought-provoking stories and not standup comedy routines. Stories may last up to 5 minutes, and time limits will be strictly enforced. You will be asked to relinquish the stage after 5 minutes even if you have not reached the end of your story. Storytellers who exceed the allotted time will not be eligible for an award. Take care in preparing your story, and practice it so that you are sure it will not exceed 5 minutes and that you are comfortable telling it. Dress however you will be comfortable—formal business attire is not required unless that is what makes you most comfortable! Keep in mind that the event will be videotaped, so you may wish to avoid attire that might be distracting (such as loud prints and jangling jewelry). Use of note cards during the event is acceptable. You can find some general tips on effective storytelling at the following website:

What Will Happen to Your Story During and After the Story Slam?

You will share your story with the live audience, and the event will be streamed online as a live video event. The storytelling will be professionally videotaped. The videos will also be eligible for consideration for publication on the Annals of Internal Medicine website,, which receives about 500,000 visitors monthly. Posted videos will be publicly accessible for free and be disseminated using Annals’ traditional and social media channels.


By participating in the event, you are agreeing to sign over copyright for the audio/video recordings to Annals of Internal Medicine’s publisher, the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP will ask you to sign a copyright agreement before the event. If you have any concerns about these conditions, please contact immediately.

If you cannot mask the identity of others mentioned in your story, you will need to obtain permission from them before the event to identify them in your story. If it is necessary for you to obtain such permission, please contact us for a form that you can use to be sure you appropriately inform those identified. We need your assurance that you obtained permission and could provide documentation of that permission in the event that ACP needed that documentation.