Brown County
Tall Tale Tell Off

This year’s Tall Tales Contest is the first in what will be an annual event. It was initially conceived by local author Hank Swain, and draws on the local identification with the well-known “liars’ bench.” It is being sponsored by the Brown County Chamber of Commerce and WRAPS, the local writer, reader and poets society.

Contestants were invited to submit an original, unpublished, piece of creative fiction not to exceed 1000 words. The tall tales were to be plausibly impossible, or impossibly plausible. Contestants were asked to stretch the limits of credibility.

The contestants were invited both through a link to the Chamber website, and through numerous writers’ publications and small publishing companies. Although this is its first year, the contest attracted scores of entries from as far away as India. The WRAPS group and Mr. Swain selected a committee, whose task was to read the entries and select five finalists. Those five will travel to Nashville to recite their pieces in the Tall Tale Tell Off, thus deciding the world’s greatest tall tale teller for 2004.

The event will take place on the lower level of the Public Library on Saturday, June 19th at 1:30 PM. Viola Taliaferro, Larry Incollingo, Ginny Richie, and Taylor Hess will be the panel of judges. The world’s greatest tall tale teller will receive $500 and a plaque of authenticity. The second place winner will receive $250, the third $100, and the fourth and the fifth will each receive $75.

At 10:30 that morning there will be a preliminary tall tale tell-off. Four mendacious locals who are ineligible for the main event will participate in the morning contest. They will win cash awards, which will be decidedly less than those mentioned above.

Before the morning tell-off, the finalists will be honored with a breakfast. After the morning event, the judges will be treated to lunch. Both meals are being sponsored by WRAPS.

After the main event, there will be time for refreshments and book browsing while the judges make their selections. The day’s festivities will conclude around 3:00 p.m.with the announcement of the winners, and acknowledgements.

“Nobuddy ever kicks a’ bein’ interrupted if it’s by applause”. These timeless words come from Abe Martin our legendary local centenarian. On June 19th, the five Tall Tales finalists certainly won’t mind being interrupted by applause, or laughter. It will undoubtedly be one whopper of a day.