Tell a story

Spark is the place to tell your true story.

There are only three rules at Spark:

  1. Your story must be true
  2. It must be something that happened to you
  3. And it must be up to five minutes long

For up-to-date info on future events, look for Spark True Stories on Facebook, on Instagram @sparktruestories, on Twitter @sparktruestory or email us at

Themes are announced ahead of each event. If there’s a story you want to tell that doesn’t fit a theme, please contact us – we love theme suggestions!

Many people come along to Spark, watch a couple of stories to see how it’s done, then dive straight in and tell their story. That’s great! It’s also okay to ask for advice – do contact us and we’d be happy to help you tell your story.

Frequently asked questions

What is the format?

Each night is themed. Our host will introduce the theme, then invite audience members to come on stage. We usually have three acts of three or four stories each. After the show, there’s time to chat to the storytellers and other members of the audience.

I’ve got a story, what next?

Just turn up! When you arrive, speak to the host and they’ll write your name down for a slot. Or you can sign up in the interval – although slots disappear fast on busy nights.

What makes a good story?

A great story involves a transition of some kind. By the end of the story the main character – that’s you – has revealed something that was unknown at the start.

Think about what triggers a transition. That’s where the drama comes in – the unexpected event that puts you to the test, turns the heat up or demands that you make a change. It could be the day you got stuck in a lift, lost your passport, bagged your dream job or discovered your partner was having an affair.

Three tips for telling a great story

1) Start your story in the action. Find an opening line that grabs the audience and makes them sit up and listen to you


I started the year with everything you could expect from a successful middle class life.

At six months old, a pigeon pooed in my eye.

I ran away from home at the age of 12 and never lived with my parents again.

2) Have an idea of how you intend to end your story. Keep your closing line crisp and punchy so your story goes out on a high


I should have eaten his bloody birthday cake myself.

These days, I’m happy living alone. But I never use the gas hob when drunk anymore.

3) Stick to what actually happened and tell the truth. Tell your story as if you are reporting events that could have been seen through a camera at the time

Like this: “He looked straight at me and his face went from pink to red to crimson.”

Instead of like this: “I could tell he was really angry.”

What will I get out of telling my story?

We asked some of our storytellers to tell us what they’ve got out of sharing their stories:

“I realised you don’t have to be trained in performance to be riveting when standing alone on a stage. All you need is a story.”

“The theme of the night inspired me to find my stories. That is one of the big gifts Spark London has given me.”

“Telling my story at Spark London was a revelation. Direct communication with the audience, continuing afterwards in the bar and on email; the way people relate their own experiences directly to yours (‘I went there!’; ‘I had a boyfriend who did that’), a tangible sense of getting your voice back, in more ways than one.”

“The rehearsal before the performance brought out some new angles to my story. My story improved under Joanna’s guidance.”

How do I beat the nerves?

It’s natural to be nervous, but our audiences are friendly and no one will be judging or scoring your story.

Stories are about overcoming challenges. This is just another one you can overcome.

What if I don’t have any good stories?

You almost certainly do.

Some stories will be defined by time and place, for example the romantic gesture that went wrong 10 years ago when you lived in Brazil. Others could span decades. Here are some questions to get you thinking about what your stories are:

  1. Blood is thicker than water. Is this true in your experience?
  2. What is your most embarrassing memory of adolescence?
  3. What is the biggest barrier you’ve come up against in work, life or relationships?
  4. Who, other than your parents, has had a significant influence on your life?
  5. Every decision starts with a crossroads. What crossroads have you faced?

We also run storytelling workshops to help you find your stories and develop them further.