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About Story Slam: What’s your story?

As journalists, we bring to life every imaginable kind of story about events, issues and people in the news. But we’re rarely given a forum to share tales from our own lives.

We are proud to bring back AAJA Story Slam for its second year at #AAJA18! Through the AAJA Story Slam, we will turn our storytelling skills on ourselves and highlight the best personal stories from the Asian American and Pacific Islander journalist community.

For the first round, participants will record videos of themselves telling a story that fits with the 2018 convention theme (Press On: Moving Forward Together), and will email those videos to aajastoryslam+2018@gmail.com using any medium. For example, participants can upload their recording to YouTube, and send a link to the video to the email address. A panel of judges will select finalists from the video submissions.

The top storytellers will compete for cash prizes in an exciting live event on Friday, August 10, 2018, at the AAJA National Convention in Houston.

First place winner: $1,000

Second place winner: $500

Third place winner: $250

 The submission deadline has passed. Submissions are now closed.

Who is eligible

AAJA members with a story to tell. Your 2018 membership must be current before entering the Story Slam, but there is no additional entry fee.

What sort of stories?

Stories are:

  • personal and true

  • reflect an AAPI experience

  • relate to the #AAJA18 theme: “Press On: Moving Forward Together.”

We are looking for stories that are about something that happened to you, that you observed or learned or happened to someone else but affected you. They should be stories that move us —  that will make us laugh, cry or think differently about something we thought we knew. SAG-AFTRA will sponsor a speech coach to work with selected finalists on performance and presentation.

Stories should be six minutes or less and will be broadly judged on: Is it a good story? Does it grab & hold your attention? How effectively does the storyteller deliver it?

Videos can be recorded and uploaded using the medium of the participants’ choice.


June 14, 2018 (by 11:59pm PT): Video submissions due. Submissions are now closed.

July 13, 2018: Finalists notified.

Friday, August 10, 2018, 5:30-6:30pm in Houston I: The AAJA Story Slam will take place at the AAJA National Convention in Houston. A judging panel will select winners, who will be announced at the event.


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

For more information, please see last year’s Story Slam and the recorded Facebook Live.

Questions? Contact danielg@aaja.org.




Asia Consumer & Health Team Leader, Bloomberg


Story: "3 Scenes"




Reporter, The Associated Press


Story: "Yongbae"

Becky Isjwara.jpg


Reporter, Asian Private Banker


Story: “Westernization”



Editor, S&P Global Ratings

AAJA-Washington, D.C.

Story: "The Bridge We Make" 





Correspondent, CBS News

Reena Ninan was named a correspondent for CBS News and an anchor for CBSN, CBS News' 24/7 digital streaming news service, in April 2016. She reports for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms.

Ninan is an experienced journalist who has reported from around the world. Her journalism career has taken her from Washington to the Middle East and back.

She joined CBS News after working as co-anchor of ABC News's "World News Now" and "America This Morning." Before that assignment, she covered the White House for ABC News, where she traveled with President Obama to Asia and with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East.


2017 Winners

Check out our winners from last year!


2017 AAJA Story Slam First Place Winner

Ti-Hua Chang

Freelance Reporter

AAJA-New York

Story: "A Day Remembered"




2017 AAJA Story Slam Second Place Winner

Emil Guillermo

Independent Journalist, Emil Guillermo Media/Amok Productions, AALDEF.org

AAJA-San Francisco Bay Area

Story: "Stephen and the American Filipino Story"




2017 AAJA Story Slam Third Place Winner

Akira Olivia Kumamoto

Freelance Video Journalist

AAJA-San Francisco Bay Area

Story: "Paper Doll."