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Those who enjoy listening to — or telling — a good story are invited to a cozy winter’s evening by the fire in the great hall of the Friendly Crossways Retreat Center, 247 Littleton County Road in Harvard, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7 for the first annual Harvard Story Slam, presented by the Warner Free Lecture Series. Folks age 17 and older are invited to bring an original story and vie for one of six spots as featured storyteller.

Emcee and local actor Brian Schimpf will begin the evening with a short story of his own and then select both participants and storytelling judges at random from the audience. Participants may not use props, costumes, or musical instruments, nor may they recite poetry. Each story must be told within a 5-minute time limit and may contain adult themes and language, but nothing obscene. Everyone is encouraged to practice material beforehand (a good story has a beginning, middle and end), and may find inspiration by visiting, the website of The Moth Story Hour in New York.

The Harvard Story Slam joins the growing phenomenon of story slams from coast to coast. First made famous by The Moth Story Hour, story slams are now held nationwide. The Harvard Story Slam will set a new stage for an innovative tradition right here in Harvard.

For more information about the Harvard Story Slam (including criteria for judging), or the Warner Free Lecture Series, contact Mary Helan Turner at 978-456-3649 or at

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