Pitch your story for Field Notes: “In The Weeds”

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CISA’s Field Notes is a live storytelling event celebrating the many ways local food and farming leave their mark on our lives and in our communities. We’re back for a 5th show next March at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, and we’re looking for storytellers!

All Field Notes stories are true tales from community members like you about personal experiences with local food and farming. This year we’re also introducing a theme: “In The Weeds.” Do you have a story about growing, cooking, or eating local food where you found yourself “in the weeds”? What happened next?

Pitch us your story idea today, and you might be chosen to tell it at the upcoming show! See how at the bottom of this page.

Laurie Cuevas of Thomas Farm (Field Notes 2018)

Field Notes is for everyone

Food is a part of all of our lives. Whether you’re a farmer, chef, service worker, gardener, food activist, passionate home cook, or anyone else with a story to share about local food or farming, this event is for you.

Never been on stage before? That’s okay, we’ll help you get there. All performers will have the opportunity to workshop their stories and performance with a professional storytelling coach.

The stories we’re looking for

Any story related to local food or farming and the theme “In The Weeds” will be considered. It should be a true tale based on your real-life experience – think anecdote from a memoir, not op-ed.  Final stories will be around five minutes.

Previous stories have included a single mother facing food insecurity whose life was changed by a farm share, love at first spicefried green tomato hornworms, and much more. See all past Field Notes stories here.

The storytelling experience

Past storytellers have described their Field Notes experiences as “thrilling,” “terrifying,” “exceptional,” and “oh so worth the effort.” It’s a great opportunity to grow your performance skills and confidence with public speaking and get to know fellow storytellers from all walks of life.

Man in plaid shirt on stage in front of microphone mimes speaking into phone

Pete Solis of Mockingbird Farm (Field Notes 2019). PC Jason Threlfall.

If your story is chosen, you will…
  • Attend three group workshops with a professional storytelling coach over the winter and one dress rehearsal the week before the event. These may be virtual or in person and last about 1.5 – 2 hours each. Location and scheduling TBD (likely weekday evenings). 
  • Practice your story between workshops
  • Be invited to help promote the show
  • Perform on stage at the Academy of Music in March!

Pitching your story

The final deadline for pitches is Friday January 12th. We will notify you if your story was chosen soon after. The sooner you pitch the better! That gives us more time to consider your story and even help you improve your pitch.

There are two options for pitching:

  1. Call 413-247-4153 and leave a voicemail.
  2. Write out your story idea using the form below.
A woman in a pink shirt stands in front of a microphone with hand on chin and puzzled look on face

Mariana Lachiusa (Field Notes 2021)

Your pitch should be brief, but give a sense of your full story. It’s not just a teaser! Try to share a few sentences about each of these things:

  • Where were you? What was happening?
  • What was the tension or conflict?
  • What was at stake because of it?
  • What was the outcome?

Stuck on story ideas?

Trust your gut, and ask friends for advice! The best stories make you feel an emotion in your body while telling it, and they capture others’ attention and make them feel something too.

Want more tips for live storytelling? Check out these quick tips from The Moth, ideas from Jeff Simmermon of This American Life, or this essay from author and storyteller Melanie Hamlet.

The pitch deadline is January 12th

   We can’t wait to hear your stories. This is going to be FUN!

Nan Parati, formerly of Elmer’s Restaurant in Ashfield (Field Notes 2018)