LARRY SMITH is the founder and editor of SMITH Magazine, and its younger cousin, SMITH Teens. SMITH Magazine is best known for launching the Six-Word Memoir® project, which is a bestselling series of five books and a global phenomenon. Anticipating the microblogging explosion, SMITH originally launched the Six-Word Memoir project in November 2006 in partnership with Twitter with a simple online challenge asking: “Can you tell your life story in six words?”
“Smith is on a quest to spark the creativity of aspiring writers.”
Larry has been called a “luminary in the story world” on the A Storied Life blog, one of the “most interesting people of the day” on CNN, and has been interviewed on storytelling and the power of the short form on The Happiness Project, True/Slant, The Gothamist, among other places. For links to interviews with Smith on NPR, The CBS Early Show, The New York Times, and elsewhere, visit SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoir press page.
SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS
Larry has spoken at companies such as ESPN, Google, Twitter, Dell and Shutterfly on the power of personal storytelling, how to engage an audience, and how a simple idea can make a big difference. He also leads workshops at foundations, nonprofits and schools across the country.
In smaller groups, such as staff and boards of a company or nonprofit, Larry regularly teaches a workshop called “What’s Your Story: Nailing Your Mission.” In schools, he gives an assembly presentation about the power of personal storytelling, as well as leading smaller workshops with individual classrooms from third grade to graduate school.
Larry teaches the class, “What’s Your Story: How to Deliver an Authentic Elevator Pitch,” at The Hired Guns Academy, and on-site at companies of all description and sizes.
He closed the opening day of the 2010 PopTech conference, and has spoken at AARP’s National Convention, Ignite NYC, The 92nd Street Y, the New York Public Library, and elsewhere. His presentation at the 2011 SXSW Interactive Festival, “How to Create an Internet Phenomenon for Peanuts,” was called “Most Inspirational” by KQED Radio.
“Most inspirational presentation goes to Larry Smith, editor of SMITH Magazine. His ‘How to Create an Internet Phenomenon for Peanuts’…was humorous, on-point, and empowering. Many of us left that room with renewed commitment to our ideas.”
“Working with Larry in a corporate setting is a great way to reacquaint ourselves with the value of simple stories for better connections with people. It is also a unique way to get to know the individuals behind a team, strengthening those relationships with a view to doing more meaningful and connected business together.”
—Richard Binhammer, Executive Strategic Corporate Communications & Social Media Dell
• Watch Larry speak at the 2010 PopTech conference.
• Watch Larry’s very fast talk at IgniteNYC (five minutes, 20 slides that auto-advance)
• Watch Larry give a talk on “Six Words on Jewish Life” at the LimmudNY education conference.
• Watch Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser’s presentation and “Six-Word Slam” at AARP National Convention.
BEFORE SMITH MAGAZINE
Prior to launching SMITH, Larry was the articles editor of Men’s Journal, and has been the executive editor of Yahoo! Internet Life, senior editor at ESPN The Magazine, a founding editor of P.O.V., and editor-in-chief of its sister publication, EGG, as well as an editor of Might magazine. While living in San Francisco, he was managing editor of the wire/syndication service AlterNet, and now serves on its board. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, Men’s Health, Salon, Slate, and other places. He has contributed personal essays to the anthologies Maybe Baby and Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves, as well as Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion from The New York Times. He lives in Brooklyn, as all storytelling types are supposed to, with his wife, the writer Piper Kerman and their son.