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Stories across Boundaries: Bridging Intercultural Gaps

Global Citizenship embodies the spirit of an individual to be an agent of change by tapping into the collective capacity of humankind to solve local problems with a global mindset, and storytelling, a vehicle that helps turn ideas into solutions. Bring about positive impact through the medium of stories and narratives with the Global Storytelling Festival! Participate and play a role in disseminating the core value enshrined in the SDGs!

Storytelling is an ancient art, an essential medium of communication that has percolated through generations and evolved to keep up with technological changes, upheavals in social structures and conflicts. It has served as an immensely powerful vehicle for the dissemination of messages across media channels by weaving into the narrative elements of social reform, environmental awareness, and cultural interaction.

Welcome to the Global Storytelling Festival 2021!

Having seen first-hand the power of impactful storytelling, we are curating a maiden Global Storytelling Festival from July 20 – August 31st, 2021, with the theme, Stories across Boundaries: Bridging Intercultural Gaps.

The Festival is three-fold:

A Mini-Story Writing Contest – Participants can send in 150-200 word stories on the main theme. The contest remains open from July 20 – Aug 20, 2021, and winning stories will be featured in partnering organizations’ blogs/journals, and winners awarded 250$ USD in prizes and opportunities to work with leading social impact publications. Submit your story today at bit.ly/MyMiniStory.
(Deadline to submit your story: 20th August 2021).

Impact Storytelling 101 Workshop – A Storytelling workshop hosted by expert communicators and storytellers, this 60-90 mins hands-on session is meant to provide aspiring storytellers/narrators/content creators the necessary tools, skills, and learning processes to acquaint themselves with the art and science of storytelling for impact. Register today at: bit.ly/ImpactStorytellingWorkshop.
(Deadline to register: 14th August 2021 at 1:30 PM GMT).

Storytelling for Change Showcase – Featuring live-spoken word storytellers, artists, and organizations, the showcase will culminate the Festival with a celebration of storytelling at its best! Join the showcase here!.
(The showcase is scheduled for 31st August 2021 at 1:30 PM GMT).


Register today and join us to celebrate the power of storytelling across boundaries! 


Here are a few of the many reasons why you should consider partaking in our maiden Storytelling Festival!

Why Participate? 

  • An opportunity for budding storytellers and social impact leaders to participate in a global initiative that challenges and boosts their skills, as well as showcases their skills to an international audience.
  • An opportunity to explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through a more experiential, hands-on process, sharing stories with individuals from around the world.
  • An opportunity to learn about different realities, contexts, and cultures, and to connect to other writers and creators on new intercultural floors post the event.
  • An instance to become part of the Melton Foundation and our partners’ creative circles.

Prizes and Incentives

  • Prizes worth 250$ USD for winners of the mini-story contest and participants who show exceedingly high levels of commitment and engagement through the festival.
  • Winners from the Mini-Story Contest gain opportunities to intern and work with leading social impact publications – Stories for Change UK, Impact Storytelling, and Lighthouse – Storytelling for Change.
  • Pro-bono registration to the Impact Storytelling 101 Workshop.
  • Gift Certificates to purchase subscriptions to premium publications, purchase your favorite book, and more!


Meet our partners! Leading media organizations around the world who made the Global Storytelling Festival 2021 possible!

Speakers, Judges, and Performers!

Meet the people behind the scenes at the Global Storytelling Festival 2021!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any queries or questions regarding the Global Storytelling Festival 2021? You'll find answers below!

What is a mini-story?

As the name indicates, a mini-story is meant to convey a concrete message, narrate and captivate the reader in a short amount of words, generally up to 200 words. A challenging and powerful format, it prompts writers to convey their ideas while maintaining brevity.

How do I participate?

You may click on the registration links above, and submit your entry/entries along with other details in the form provided.

What are the rules for the Mini-Story Contest?

  • Stories submitted should deepen the understanding of different cultures of the world, and the intricacies and inherent diversity of each culture as a tool for meaningful collaboration.
  • Stories should be 150-200 words in length.
  • Stories need to follow the theme closely.
  • Entries can be from anywhere in the world, however, we request for stories to be submitted in English. We value diversity immensely, so we do not discourage non-English storytellers. In such a case, we encourage you to enlist the help of a translator to translate your story into English.
  • Stories must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast, or featured amongst the winners in another competition.
  • Stories cannot be altered once entered.
  • Any plagiarised work will be disqualified along with any other work submitted by the entrant.
  • The competition organizers reserve the right not to award prizes if, in the judge’s opinion, such an action is justified.

What is the submission deadline for the Mini-Story Contest?

August 20th, 2021.

Will I need to complete any prior preparation for the Impact Storytelling Workshop? 

Registration to attend the workshop is compulsory. Register here if you haven’t already!

Participants are required to:

  • Have stable internet, audio, and video.
  • Be willing to engage actively and interact with other participants and hosts through the length of the hands-on workshop.
  • Have pen and paper, a scribbling notepad, etc.
  • Pick a topic / project / theme closely related to the theme of the Global Storytelling Festival – ’Stories across Boundaries’, and the UN SDGs.
  • Familiarize themselves with the tools used during the workshop (details will be sent post-registration).

Do I need to pay any registration fees?

There is no participation fee for the contest or any of the sessions scheduled. We firmly believe in increasing accessibility of resources to people from all socio-economic backgrounds, and stand for inclusivity, diversity, and equity.

If you relate to our organization’s vision and mission and would like to lend a hand, you can support us by making a small donation at meltonfoundation.org/donate.

When is the Global Mini-story Contest 2021 scheduled for?

Stories can be submitted until August 20th, 2021. Once the window for submissions is closed, our panel of judges will carefully review, assess and evaluate each of the submissions. On August 31st, 2021, the Award Ceremony (scheduled during the Storytelling Showcase) for the contest will be held in which all participants, partners, judges, and other collaborators will be invited to attend. The results of the contest will be announced in this session.

Is the participation on an individual basis?

Yes. Every story needs to have a single author.

Are there any restrictions regarding content, language, subject, etc.? 

There is no such restriction or preference. However, the theme of the event, “Bridging Intercultural Gaps”, must be reflected in the story and each piece needs to ideally highlight a strong correlation to social impact.

How do I determine my word count? 

Count all the words in your story. In the process:

  • Do not include the title of your story.
  • Count each word as a single word; do not take into account the number of letters in it. Whitespaces will also not be counted.
  • Stories submitted must be under 200 words.

Can I submit my entry anonymously or with a pen name instead of my real name?

Your story can mention the author’s name as a pseudonym/pen name. However, the submission form requires a valid identity for successful registration. Upon request by the writer, we can always publish the story under a pen name or anonymously.

What formatting must I follow to submit my story?

Input your entire story by following the steps here. Once you are done pasting your story and filling in the other details, you may submit the form and your registration will be verified.

What is the age limit for a storyteller to participate in this event?

There is no age limit. Any budding/seasoned writer/creator/storyteller with an interest and/or passion for intercultural collaboration and social impact may participate in the Mini-story Contest, Workshop, and Showcase.

Reach out to us at meltonfoundation.org/contact for further queries and questions! We look forward to meeting you at the Festival!