If you wish to tell a story at The Cicada here’s a few pointers to take note. We have borrowed some “Tips and Tricks” from the Moth and we acknowledge their inspiration.

Cicada stories are told, not read.  We’ve experienced the way the storyteller connects to audience when there is no PAGE between them. Please know your story “by heart” but not by rote memorization. No notes, paper or cheat sheets allowed on stage.

Have some stakes. ‘Stakes are essential in live storytelling. What do you stand to gain or lose? Why is what happens in the story important to you? If you can’t answer this, then think of a different story. A story without stakes is an essay and is best experienced on the page, not the stage’.The Moth

Start in the action. Have a great first line that sets up the stakes and grabs attention
Like previous Mosquito winners. Here’s Rania Arad,

“The year is 1984, the country is Lebanon. A small coastal town where I was born. I was seven years old.”

Or Fiona Robson,

‘I was right on the edge of the platform, 101 metres above the raging Zambezi river. Victoria Fall’s behind me, Zimbabwe to my let, Zambia to my right. I had done my research, I knew what I was doing….’

We go on to hear of Fiona’s first bungee jump

Know your story well enough so you can have fun! Legendary Australian storyteller Pat Scott always said, ‘Like your story, know your story and enjoy the telling.’

“Watching you panic to think of the next memorised line is harrowing for the audience. Make an outline, memorize your bullet points and play with the details. Enjoy yourself. Imagine you are at a dinner party, not a deposition”. The Moth

Endings  You should have the last line of the story clear in your head. Know where to stop, don’t keep rambling on
“Yes, bring the audience along with you as you contemplate what transpires in your story, but remember, you are driving the story, and must know the final destination. Keep your hands on the wheel!” The Moth

Its not standup comedy
No rants
No essays
No fake accents, it doesn’t work and can seem disrespectful

We are looking for personal stories set in the Hepburn Shire

Finally, as The Moth has learnt in their twenty years of story slams, understand likewise, on The Cicada stage, “practice civility and respect”.

“Please don’t include racism, homophobia, misogyny or any form of hate speech”. The Moth