Writing Exercise: Six Word Memoir

by Michelle Gagnon

Hemingway was once famously challenged to write a short story in six words or less, and he came up with, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Kind of the perfect story- so much there, yet so much left unsaid. It leaves you wondering and wanting more.

Smith Magazine launched a six word memoir contest awhile back, inviting people to submit the story of their life with extreme brevity. It was so successful that they produced a book with submissions from a wide variety of authors both famous and obscure, including Amy Sedaris (Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched), Sebastian Junger (I asked. They answered. I wrote), and Po Bronson (Stole wife. Lost friends. Now happy).

Today, I challenge you to do the same. Here are some of my favorites, culled from their ongoing blog:

  • “More fun since moral compass broke.”
  • “Write about sex, learn about love.”
  • “I thought that I’d be taller.”
  • “Committed voluntarily, until tried to leave.”
  • “Asked to quiet down. Spoke louder.”

And here’s mine, always a work in progress:

“Loved and lost and loved again.”

So what’s your life been like, in a sextuplet?

Writing Exercise: Six Word Memoir

by Michelle Gagnon

Hemingway was once famously challenged to write a short story in six words or less, and he came up with, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Kind of the perfect story- so much there, yet so much left unsaid. It leaves you wondering and wanting more.

Smith Magazine launched a six word memoir contest awhile back, inviting people to submit the story of their life with extreme brevity. It was so successful that they produced a book with submissions from a wide variety of authors both famous and obscure, including Amy Sedaris (Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched), Sebastian Junger (I asked. They answered. I wrote), and Po Bronson (Stole wife. Lost friends. Now happy).

Today, I challenge you to do the same. Here are some of my favorites, culled from their ongoing blog:

  • “More fun since moral compass broke.”
  • “Write about sex, learn about love.”
  • “I thought that I’d be taller.”
  • “Committed voluntarily, until tried to leave.”
  • “Asked to quiet down. Spoke louder.”

And here’s mine, always a work in progress:

“Loved and lost and loved again.”

So what’s your life been like, in a sextuplet?