Call for Storytellers!

Resiliency through Agriculture Storytelling Competition


What is resilience? A cherished term by scientists and policy makers? A tiresome buzzword?


Or is resilience sleeping in the bed of your truck in the inhospitable depths of February in Montana while 100-mile an hour Chinook winds rage, just to make sure your cows and horses make it through the night?


Is resilience deciding what to do next after waiting out a storm only to find that your fields are under water from an unprecedented flood?


Is resilience fending off the predatory loan sharks who have come to repossess the family ranch your grandfather handed down through the generations?


Is resilience feeding your neighbors during severe economic downturn?


Here’s what we know. Some of the most profound truths and impossibly complex ideas are best conveyed through stories. We also know that Indian Country is chock full of beautiful storytellers. Add to that, Native farmers and ranchers are some of the toughest people in the world, having fought off land thieves and opportunists, outwitted and outlived malevolent government officials, and stewarded harsh environments for millennia.


We want to know what resilience is . . . to you.


Event Description: On December 9, 2020 at 4 p.m. MST, join us for an evening of riveting storytelling. A panel of expert storytellers, activists, and agriculturalists will have selected seven of the most powerful stories that illustrate the theme: Resiliency through Agriculture.

Authors of the selected stories will read each story, (approximately 10 minutes in length), aloud to the audience. The audience has the opportunity to up-vote their favorite stories and the top three receive modest cash prizes and recognition for their work.

Participants can elect to receive a Native Food Box with tasty treats and an IAC Resiliency through Agriculture t-shirt. All submitted stories will be reviewed by the panel, organized by theme, and submitted for publication into an anthology of Native resilience.


Want to submit a story?

Here’s how it works. We know that some prefer to write stories and others have crafted the fine art of spoken word. Stories will be accepted until November 23, midnight MST.


For the writing types, go to the submission link below and attach a word document no more than five pages in length, double-spaced (that's about 10 minutes in live reading time) that answers the “what is resilience?” question, particularly in terms of food and agriculture.


For the spoken word types, you can record your story (no more than 10 minutes in length) and send us an audio file (.WAV, .AIFF, .MP3) also via the submission link.


Selection process: Stories will be reviewed first by an internal panel of IAC staff to ensure submissions adhere to the basic criteria (page length/topic) who will then send stories to the expert panel for final review and selection.


Basic criteria includes: adherence to instructions while selection criteria looks for things like, “Is my way of seeing things permanently changed because of this story?” “Will this story help us understand the true meaning of resilience, beyond the buzzwords?” “Are the hairs standing up on my arms?”


We will do our absolute best to include all stories in our final, published anthology. Stories that do not meet the criteria will be returned to the author.


Tips: Don’t just answer the question. Give us all you’ve got. Get gritty. Tell us about a time when food and agriculture were the means for some sort of survival, survivance, or pathway back to health and culture. We prefer non-fiction (a real, true story) but will happily take fiction (a creative, although ‘untrue’ story that tells a bigger truth).


Register and submit your story here by November 23: Resiliency through Agriculture Storytelling Competition form link


Are you interested in sponsoring this event? Click this: IAC 2020 Sponsorship Link


Do you want to listen in and up-vote your favorite story on December 9, 2020 at 4 p.m. MST? Please register for the 2020 IAC Virtual Conference by clicking HERE.


Here is our Resiliency through Agriculture Storytelling Competition website page that has all the links and information in one place: www.indianag.org/storytelling-competition


More information about this event will be coming in the weeks ahead. Thank you!

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