Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Short and Sweet

Would you like to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week AND win a nifty key chain?

This week, the online magazine Smith is sponsoring a writing contest about teachers.

The catch?

You can only use six words.

You see, Smith is famous for its six-word memoir challenge —

The clever test of wordsmithing based on an old tale about Earnest Hemingway.

Legend has it that Mr. H. once made a bet that he could write a complete story in only six words.

His winning tale?

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

While it’s most likely that the legend itself is actually a work of fiction, you can bet your bottom dollar that the six-word story is a terrific writing exercise.

Here are few fun memoir examples to get you in the swing —

The miserable childhood leads to royalties.
~ Frank McCourt

 Well, I thought it was funny.
~Stephen Colbert

Couldn't cope so I wrote songs.
~Aimee Mann


Grew taller. But, alas, never matured.

And for all of the wonderful teachers in my life —

What?! They DON’T live at school??

PROMPT: Enter this week’s six-word teacher appreciation contest here. Or if memoir is more your cup of tea, enter your super six-word life story here.

Who knows? You might win a fabulous prize or end up in Smith’s next compilation! For inspiration, pick up a copy of Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith.

And how can I resist a “six pack” of instructions just for you?

Life’s all material — so write on!

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