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Tell Your Story on RISK!

RISK! isn’t quite like other storytelling shows. It’s a place “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” We encourage our storytellers to step out on a limb, be brutally candid and emotionally raw. This is an uncensored show where taboos are tackled and people talk about things they ordinarily might not share in mixed company, but might save for their therapist. Stories can be hilariously funny, horrific, sad, beautiful…anything goes.

Listen to an episode or two. You’ll see what we mean!

In general, we look for stories that meet one or more of these criteria:

  • The stakes are high. You felt there was a lot to be lost and/or gained in the circumstances.
  • You are emotionally invested. You really cared about or were fascinated by the situation and ended up thrilled or crushed or frightened, etc.
  • The experience was highly unusual. Your story features subject matter we’re not likely to have covered on the podcast so far.
  • Sharing this takes guts. Normally you’d only share this with a close friend. Or perhaps this reveals a side of yourself you rarely show.

 

You can either:

  • Pitch us to tell a full-length story (over 10 minutes long) at some future date, or
  • Send us a recording of you telling a little “anecdote” mini-story (under 4 minutes). Visit our Anecdotes page to learn all about that.

Pitch Us Your Story

Want to tell a full-length (10+ minutes long) story on the RISK! podcast, or maybe at one of our live shows? These might be on stage, or recorded one-on-one with a story coach. Either way, first watch this video. Then send us a written summary of what happens in the beginning, middle, and end (no cliffhangers— don’t leave us hanging!) in about 300 words. For your best chance at success, review the Tips for Pitching section below.

If you strongly prefer to send us audio of you pitching the story:

  • Make a 2–5-minute long recording of your synopsis.
  • Make sure the audio quality is clear. Tips!
  • Sound conversational rather than memorized. Please do NOT read from the page. Tips!
  • Include your name in the file name.

Either way, email your pitch to pitches@risk-show.com. If it’s for a specific show on a specific date, include the show’s location (e.g., “New York Pitch”) in the subject line. Please see the Themes & Deadlines section below for details.

Tips for Pitching

Here’s what we like to see covered in a pitch:

SET THE SCENE
Where were you in life when this began? What was your “deal”?

WHAT GOT THE BALL ROLLING?
What motivated you to want to give, get or do something?

WHAT WAS AT STAKE?
What hope or fear drove you? What did you stand to gain or lose? Were you surprised by complications?

HOW YOU TURNED THE CORNER
What finally changed this situation, for better or worse? Did you succeed or fail or feel a shift?

SO WHAT?
Why do you feel it’s daring to be sharing this? Why would a stranger listening to this story find it significant, affecting and worth remembering as they go about their lives?


In addition to the stated themes for specific shows, here are some themes we are always looking for stories on:

  • This Can’t Be Happening: a time you thought, “I really don’t know if I can handle this.”
  • Turning the Corner: a time you broke through something or took a huge leap of faith.
  • Still Makes Me Laugh: a situation that became completely ridiculous.
  • Power: A time you felt like you were terrified or thrilled by a shifting power dynamic.

 

NOTE: We are always looking for more stories from marginalized populations, people of color, groups that are underrepresented in the media, etc.

 

For some great tips and a deeper storytelling education, visit our Storytelling Resources page.

Themes & Deadlines for Live Shows

Please feel free to pitch us your ideas any time! If your location or availability does not fit any of these upcoming shows, still pitch us any ideas you may have. We will keep them in mind and let you know if they’re a good fit for a future show. A note about our show themes: RISK! offers optional themes for storytellers to brainstorm around, but we are much more interested in great stories that fit any theme than stories that adhere closely to our optional themes but are not as interesting, so please pitch your strongest stories, regardless of theme.

LA – Show Date: TBD
Submission deadline: 5/14/24
Optional Themes: The Stranger, Rock Bottom, or Sacred


NY – Show Date: 7/29/24
Submission deadline: 5/19/24
Optional Themes: Boundaries, Mysterious Ways, or Titillating

LA – Show Date: 8/20/24
Submission deadline: 6/24/24
Optional Themes: Differing Perspectives, Collapse, or Gods

LA – Show Date: 9/17/24
Submission deadline: 7/16/24
Optional Themes: The Worst, Surreal, or Mixed Emotions


NY – Show Date: 9/26/24
Submission deadline: 7/11/24
Optional Themes: Affectionate, Cover-Ups, or or Eek!

LA – Show Date: 10/15/24
Submission deadline: 8/13/24
Optional Themes: Spooky, Terrors, or Dark Spirits


Special Show: Halloween
Wanted: Radio Style Stories (10-12 minutes) & Anecdotes: (3-4 minutes)
Submission deadline: 9/4/24
Optional Themes: Spooky, Terrors, or Dark Spirits

LA – Show Date: 11/19/24
Submission deadline: 9/17/24
Optional Themes: Irresistible, Liberation, or Losing

LA – Show Date: 12/17/24
Submission deadline: 10/15/24
Optional Themes: Holiday Spirit, Ho-ho-ho, or Sweet Surprises


Special Show – Holiday Stories
Wanted: Radio Style Stories (10-12 minutes) & Anecdotes: (3-4 minutes)
Submission deadline: 10/24/24
Optional Themes: Holiday Spirit, Ho-ho-ho, or Sweet Surprises


NY – Show Date: 12/9/24
Submission deadline: 10/14/24
Optional Themes: Holiday Spirit, Ho-ho-ho, or Sweet Surprises

New cities, dates and themes to be announced soon. Please check back

Themes & Deadlines for Radio Style Stories

We are always looking for great stories. Please feel free to pitch us your ideas any time! 
RISK! is “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” We look for high stakes stories that feel “risky” to share

We also curate special shows, like our Black Lives, Asian American Lives, or Trans Lives episodes. Those focus on experiences in people’s lives where the joy or challenges of one’s identity is the focus, as opposed to the many other stories from Black, Asian or trans folks where that part of their identity is not the focus.

Halloween
Submission deadline: 9/5/23
Optional Themes: Spooky, Creepy, Fright


Trans Lives
Submission deadline: 9/26/23


Winter Holidays
Submission deadline: 10/23/23
Optional Themes: Holiday Magic, Holiday Horrors, Gifts