The Gleaner

What’s your story, Jamaica?

Storytelling competition returns in 2024

AFTER TWO successful productions in 2022 and 2023, Debra Ehrhardt, along with coproducer Dr Basil Waine Kong, will invite 15 storytellers to the stage on February 11, 2024, to vie for approximately $1 million in cumulative prize money in the third annual storytelling competition, ‘What’s Your Story, Jamaica?’

Renowned for her one-woman plays, Mango Mango, Invisible Chairs, Jamaica Farewell and Cock Tales, Ehrhardt is excited to get back to the stage. More accurately, the playwright is eager to facilitate a production that will put money in the pockets of Jamaican storytellers.

Ehrhardt noted that there is a beginning, a middle and an end to every good story. “What makes a story great is that people want to know what happens next. My main goal when I tell a story is not to bore people,” Ehrhardt said.

She continued, “A story’s most important function is to remind us that we are not alone in the world.”

Last year’s finalists performed before a soldout audience at the University of Technology (UTech) in Kingston, the same venue for next year’s competition. Stories were told of personal encounters from tear-jerkers to hilarious narratives as well as some very exciting tales.

The rules are simple. Tell a story; a true story, no longer than six minutes that happened to you. To be considered, applicants must submit a six-minute video or audio taped true tale by January 21.

The top storyteller will walk away with US$2,400; the second-place runner-up will be awarded US$1,300, and the third-place runner-up will receive US$1,000. The rest will be divided among the semi-inalists. There will be a panel of four official local judges including last year’s first and second-place winners, King Nyah and Wendy Stephens.





Gleaner Company