Entry Deadline: Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017

Live Finals: Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 2:30 pm • Ronald Reagan Building • Washington, DC.

For thousands of years Koreans have shared our journeys, our emotions and our ideals through the everyday art of storytelling. The Council of Korean Americans (CKA) again hosted‘s ROAR Story Slam to shine a spotlight on the best Korean American stories and storytellers. Our goals were to encourage Korean Americans to recognize the significance and range of our community’s narratives, to document and preserve them and to showcase them for the community and the public beyond.

In 2017, there were two categories of entries: Narrative Story and Poetry/Spoken Word. For both categories, we sought out entries that were personal and reflect a Korean American experience. Videotaped submissions were screened by a committee of judges, who invited finalists to present and compete at CKA’s National Summit on Saturday, October 21, 2017, in Washington DC.

Live judging at the event determined the winners of the first place ($1,500), second place ($500) and third place ($200) awards in each category. All finalists were given complimentary tickets to the CKA Summit and Gala on Saturday, October 21st ($400 value). Transportation and lodging expenses were subsidized for finalists who needed financial support to participate. The finalists’ stories were posted on the websites of and CKA.

Jen Kim – 2016 ROAR Story Slam Finalist

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Entrants must be at least 18 years of age. You do not need to be a member of the Council of Korean Americans or a Summit registrant to participate in the ROAR Story Slam. There is no entry fee.

LANGUAGE: All entries must be in English.

CATEGORIES: Submissions may be about the extraordinary or the ordinary, tragic or funny, heavy or light, but must in some way involve being Korean American. Narrative Story entries must relate a true story about something that happened to you or something that you observed or learned about that affected you. Poetry/Spoken Word is free-form and can be either narrative or impressionistic.

FORMAT: All entries must be no longer than six minutes in length. For the initial video entries, storytellers may hold/reference scripts, but may not use any other props. The video should be filmed at half-body distance (no close-ups), ideally with a simple indoor background, and uploaded as “unlisted” on YouTube. If you are submitting something you have presented elsewhere, you MUST record it in this format; please do not submit an old video unless it conforms to this required format.

HOW TO ENTER: By 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, participants emailed links to their YouTube videos to They included in the email their full name, address, cellphone number, story title and category—Narrative Story or Poetry/Spoken Word. Judging was based on the quality of the content and the presentation.

FINALS TIMELINE: Finalists were notified by Wednesday, Sept. 20.. They arrived at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, to compete in the ROAR Story Slam finals. There was a mandatory sound check in the morning, and the Live Finals took place that afternoon from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. before attendees of the CKA National Summit. A panel of judges selected the winners, who were announced at the event.

FINALS RULES: At the ROAR live finals, stories must be told without scripts or props at a standing microphone. Check out the finalist stories from the 2016 ROAR Story Slam (only narrative stories were included in 2016). All finalists must agree to sign a waiver allowing the use of the live competition video by and CKA.

The contest organizers reserve the right to adjust the judging process and prizes.

Questions? Please contact


Korean American Story is a non-profit organization whose mission is to capture and preserve the stories of the Korean American experience.

Council of Korean Americans is a global network of Korean American leaders dedicated to advancing issues of national importance for our community.

2016 Roar Story Slam Photos