And The Winner of the Six-Word Memoir Contest Is…

January 4th, 2007 by Larry Smith

You’re a dark, funny and surprising bunch. We asked you all to tell your life stories in six words, and you blew us away with your responses—more than 5,000 so far, and they’re still pouring in. While story by story your six-word summations were alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, they were even more moving and powerful when taken in huge helpings—as we discovered when we were poring over the submissions, sometimes hundreds at a time.

To determine the winner, contest co-pilot Rachel Fershleiser and I narrowed the list down to our favorite 500, then to a painstaking 25. Then we asked a dozen or so SMITH contributing editors to choose their top three. Finally, we tallied. To be eligible to win the iPod, you also had to sign up to receive a memoir a day on your phone via Twitter (which was free and fun, as lots of you found out).

Maybe it’s the mood this country’s in, but many of your stories revealed self-doubt, resignation or a desire to explain yourself. At the same time, most of you—in one way or another—appeared to just want to tell it like it is. And what “it is” is your world in six words, making for life stories in miniature that we’ve been honored to receive. We hope they’ll continue to find their way from you to us as we put together a book of six-word memoirs.

Until then, the next tall mocha soy latte is on Abigail Moorhouse, the caffeinated owner of a new iPod and winner of SMITH Magazine and Twitter’s first annual Six-Word Memoir Contest.

Her story: “Barrister, barista, what’s the diff, Mom?”

After the jump, more of your many, many amazing six-word memoirs.

Never really finished anything, except cake. —C. Perkins
Not quite what I was planning… —S. Grimes
Jew-born. Yeshiva-educated. Date goyim. -A. Ellin
Savior complex makes for many disappointments. —A. Schubach
Found true love, married someone else. -B. Stromberg
Mistakenly kills kitten. Fears anything delicate. —S. Henderson
Bad brakes discovered at high speed. —J. Baumeister
After Harvard, had baby with crackhead. —R. Templeton
Caring for parents. Life is circular. —T. McGrath
Nerdy girl smutmonger. Now, baby fever. —R.K. Bussell
Scarred by 911; helped by penguins. —A. Blackburn
Ex-wife and contractor now have house. —D. Peck
Nose broken, beauty queen changes profession. —D. Rubin
Being a monk stunk. Better gay. —B. Redman
School geek married a luscious cheerleader. —C. Clukey
Married for money. Divorced for love. —R. Abraham
Wealthy woman escapes with handsome mailman. —A. Shewan
One tooth, one cavity, life’s cruel. —J. Bettencourt
Life behind a microphone gets lonely. —C. Kash
Mormon economist marries feminist. World’s collide. —M. McBride
I still make coffee for two. —Z. Nelson

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.