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Six-Word Memoirs

Things Don’t Have to Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World
Inspired by Six Words’ popularity in English classes and art classes alike, SMITH Mah recently called for submissions for illustrated Six-Word Memoirs, in which we asked students, whether in grade school or grad school, to create a piece of artwork that enhanced their memoirs. The voices in Things Don’t Have to Be Complicated are younger than those of previous memoirists, but no less profound: “Said he loved me, he lied.” “Two girls, both of them me.” “Big dreams, big heart, big mouth.” “Break the rules now and then.” “Life is better with headphones on.” At its core, the Six-Word Memoir offers a simple way for anyone of any age to try to answer the question that defines us all: Who am I?

Buy it: On sale on iBookstore and Amazon and BN.com

Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life
The latest chapter in the Six-Word Memoir book series examines a topic bursting with words: Jewish life. With contributions from machers like Larry David, Henry Winkler, Jonathan Safran Foer, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Maira Kalman and Mayor Ed Koch, along with hundreds of never-before-published writers, Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life offers 360 stories of faith and family, duty and identity, celebration and tsuris that will inform, delight and inspire—six words at a time.

Buy it: On sale at Blurb.com.
And check out a free preview.

The Moment
The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure (Harper Perennial) starts in the middle of blazing fire and ends in Disneyland. In between are 125 stories about opportunities, serendipities, epiphanies and calamities that had a profound impact on a life. Stories come from bestselling authors Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers and Elizabeth Gilbert; musicians Melissa Etheridge and Judy Collins; 100-year-old journalism legend Ruth Gruber; and many people published for the first time anywhere, who, like all of us, have a life-changing story.

Buy it: On sale at Amazon.com

Six Words About Work
The latest installment of the bestselling Six-Word Memoir® series offers more than 400 passionate ways at looking at work today. Created by SMITH Magazine and the consulting firm, Mercer, Six Words About Work is a perfect stocking stuffer, 6th night of Hanukkah treat, or gift for any graduate trying to make sense of the vast world of work. Packed with inspirational quotes on why people do what they do, tips and tricks to navigate the work life, and lessons learned along the way, Six About Work will inspire and delight readers of all passions and professions.

Buy it: On sale at Blurb.com

It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. A thousand new six-word sagas from writers famous and obscure, and the first collection of six-word memoirs to include backstories. From acclaimed authors Malcolm Gladwell, Wally Lamb, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and Art Spiegelman, and celebrities such as Sarah Silverman, Suze Orman, Margaret Cho, Yogi Berra, Tony Hawk, Terrell Owens, Leonard Nimoy, and Chelsea Handler, to ordinary folks around the world, our much-anticipated sequel is a thousand ways at looking at life, six words at a time. Bring it instead of a bottle of wine at your next party—and watch the conversation fly.

Submit your Six-Word Memoir Memoir at SMITH

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure

Nearly 1,000 six-word life stories by and for teens in America and beyond—”We’re the family you gossip about.” “Bulimia was only cramping my style.” “My dad has more MySpace friends.”

Submit your Six-Word Memoir at SMITHTeens.com

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak

HarperPerennial, January 2009

A pocket-sized book packed with 500 six-word memoirs on love in its many shapes and forms from SMITH readers and famous folk like Dr. Drew Pinsky, Marc Ecko, Robert Hass, Janice Dickinson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Armistead Maupin, and more.

Submit your Six-Word Memoir at www.smithmag.net/sixword-love.

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure—Deluxe Edition

Harper Perennial, October 2008

This extra-special hardcover edition includes more than 100 new memoirs…for just a few more bucks. Submit your memoir at www.smithmag.net/sixwords.

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

HarperPerennial, February 2008

Get the book that launched an international Six-Word Memoir® phenomonon and became a New York Times bestseller. Hailed as ‘American Haiku,’ praised from the NPR to The New Yorker, named one of Amazon’s Top 100 books of 2008, it’s 1,000 peeks at humanity, six words at a time. Submit your memoir at www.smithmag.net/sixwords.

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Six Words (Japanese edition)Discover, January 2011

What, really, does a media maker want more than to utter the following four words without irony? ‘We’re huge in Japan.” And so we are, with the release of a Japanese translation of our first book,Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. The book was been translated by Toshiya Echizen, who’s also penning a column in the Japanese weekly, Shukan ST, an English-language publication for people learning English in Japan. Each week, Mr. Echizen will introduce Six-Word Memoirs to readers from the site or our Twitter feed. “The purpose of the column is to explain the possible meaning or meanings of the phrases and to generally instruct our readers how to better understand them,” says Kichiro Tamagawa, Shukan ST division manager. How do you say “Verbal hemophilia. Why can’t I clot?” in Japanese anyway?

Graphic Novels

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

Coming August 2009 from SMITH and Pantheon

The story of Hurricane Katrina, as seen through the eyes of six people as they escape New Orleans and grapple with the storm’s aftermath, told in graphic novel form. First published as a 16-part webcomic on SMITH, Newsweek says A.D. is “authentic and powerful,” and Rolling Stone declares it “stunning.”

Shooting War

Grand Central Publishing, November 2006

The full-length graphic novel that tells the story of Jimmy Burns, an American blogger reporting on the war in Iraq in 2011. First published as a 15-part webcomic on SMITH, Shooting War has been called “stunningly rendered” by Newsweek. The Huffington Post says it’s “the book that will make you look smart if you put it on your coffee table.”

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.