Judging Criteria for
Youth Storytelling Contest
The judging criteria for storytelling includes:
1. Picking an engaging and easily understood story, with a beginning, middle,
2. Having good poise and stage presence with facial expressions,
and appropriate gestures and body language.
3. Using good voice projection, enunciation, and expression,
4. Appropriate length of story. (3-5 minutes) Judges will have the right to cut story off after 7 minutes
as they see fit.
5. Memorization skills with good pacing and flow of the story. Over-all uniqueness and appeal
of the story. Story must be memorized and not read.
6. Additional points will be given for tying the story to this year’s special ART- TELL theme.
“Through the Eyes of a Child”
We will have at least three judges, representing storytellers and educators from the community.
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS for Future Storytellers:
1. Participants will be expected to have memorized their stories. Story reading will not be included in the
2. Find a good story that you like. For beginners, we recommend a folk tale or legend, a favorite book, or a family story. Library sections 398.2 have many good “telling” stories, just make sure it has a clear beginning, middle, and end. The youth competition here is asking for published stories, or that you get pre-approval for a self-written family story.
3. Read your story several times so that you know it. Learn the repetitious lines. Then tell the story in your own words, (so you don’t sound like you are reading it or have just memorized the words.)
4. After you are familiar with your story, practice it out loud alone in your room so you can create characters comfortably. Use different voices and actions to define each character.
5. If there is only narration in the story, change some of it into dialogue (what the characters say) to make it more exciting.
6. Make sure you speak clearly. Speak up and be careful not to get quieter at the end of a line or sentence. Think “bring the end of the line up!” (and not down).
7. Look for and bring out emotion in your story: happiness, sadness, apprehension, etc.
8. Picture what is happening in your mind as you tell. If you can visualize it, your audience will be able to “see it”, too. This will also help you keep track of where you are in the story.
9. Practice your story out loud as much as you can. Practice in front of a mirror, then practice in front of family or friends. It is really good to get used to “telling” in front of people.
10. Good luck! Have confidence and go for it!