The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“Thinking of having iPhone surgically removed.” Six Worders on the iPhone

September 15th, 2013 by Daniel Goldman

The new iPhone 5S comes with a 64-bit A7 processor and dual LED flash. I barely know what those words mean, but for some reason I kind of want one.

Apparently, I’m not alone. Since the first generation iPhone was released a mere six(™) years ago, it has become the single most ubiquitous, mythologized, and revered bits of technological innovation of this generation. With this reverence has also come fear and skepticism: is being connected at any time and place to any time place really good for us? Is it zapping our attention spans? Flattening our knowledge? Dampening our in-person social interactions?

Of course, complaining about the iPhone is a little bit like complaining about the refrigerator; it’s here to stay, so what’s the point? But these conflicting, dissonant feelings about the iPhone that we all, to some extent, share, are very real, and they’re what you’ll see conveyed and wrestled with in the iPhone-related Six-Word Memoirs. Oh, and P.S., don’t panic: the Six-Word iPhone app is on its way. —Daniel Goldman

Lost my iphone…who are you?
- mom1st

Stupid smart iphone: “menstruation” became “masturbation.”
- Amapola

Today’s iPhones are game boys reinvented.

Hardly recognized kids without their iPhones.
- jl333

O’Henry redux: sold iPhone, bought Beats.
- Redx3

Nothing new under sun. Except iPhones.
- Believe

Thinking of having iPhone surgically removed.

Idea. Rotary IPhone accessory. I’m old.

Awoke with iphone dent on face.
- emelanie

September’s Memoirist of the Month: Karen Golden

September 3rd, 2013 by Shauna Greene

“I love that Six Words is truly a community. I love that people come and go, and I especially love that people stay.”

Name: Karen Golden
Place: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Member since: May 2011

Browse through the reams of Six-Word Memoirs from notjustagirlintheworld—at well over 2,000, there are plenty to peruse—and you’ll discover a clever (“Cloud 8 is my personal best”), quick-witted (“More Walter Mitty than Wonder Woman”), and pleasingly neurotic woman (“The cant’s have me totally surrounded”). If we could use only one word to describe her memoirs: acerbic. Of course, we’d rather use six: “Look up acerbic, find Karen Golden.” Read more »

The Six-Word Festival on Twitter! Sept. 24-26—With Katie Couric, Tim Gunn, Todd English, Jane Pratt, Tim Ferriss and More!

August 29th, 2013 by Larry Smith

Todd English
Above: Celebrity chef Todd English, media icon Jane Pratt, and comedian Michael Ian Black join the #SixWord Festival on Twitter.

Six-Word Memoirs® from SMITH Magazine announces its first annual Six-Word Festival on Twitter. This Six-Word Festival celebrates the form that SMITH Magazine launched in collaboration with Twitter in 2006 and has now inspired more than half a million six-word stories on From September 24-26, this virtual storytelling celebration will consist entirely of Six-Word prompts and Six-Word tweets in response.

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston

Jason Biggs

Jason Biggs

The #SixWord Festival will engage anyone with a Twitter handle to share their stories—in just six words—on topics spanning pop culture, politics, humor, advice, and current events. Luminaries and partnering communities will be participating—including Tim Gunn, Todd English, Jane Pratt, xoJane, Jason Biggs (along with other cast members of Orange is the New Black), Rob Delaney, Tim Ferriss, Michael Ian Black, A.J. Jacobs, Baratunde Thurston, David Plotz, Slate, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), Reboot and its amazing roster of writers in a new project called Unscrolled, and more—sharing their own stories in #sixwords, retweeting their favorites and serving as judges for daily winners. HarperCollins, the publisher of the bestsellingSix-Word Memoir book series, will give out books every six minutes during the festival. A selection of the best tweets in #sixwords will be included in a forthcoming Six-Word Memoir book.

Check back at the Six-Word Festival on Twitter homepage for updates on participating celebrities, the schedule and prizes.

Want to take part in the Six-Word Festival? It’s easy.
1. Follow @sixwords on Twitter.
2. Check the Six-Word Festival on Twitter homepage for the full schedule, real-time tweets during the festival, daily editors’ favorites, as well as winners.
3. On Sept. 24, 25, 26 share your own responses in #sixwords to challenges posed by our amazing cast of celebrity tweeters and judges and you could win books, cupcakes, and more.

About Six Words
Six Words from SMITH Magazine began in collaboration with Twitter in November 2006 with a simple prompt, “Can you tell the story of your life in Six Words?” and now boasts more than 700,000 Six-Word stories on and Six-Word Memoirs is a bestselling book series and phenomenon found in classroom, churches, and at live Six-Word “slams” across the world. Six-Word Memoirs from SMITH has been featured everywhere from CNN and NPR to Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Celebrities such as Stephen Colbert, Chelsea Handler, Deepak Chopra, Taylor Swift, Dave Eggers, Jane Fonda, Malcolm Gladwell, and Mario Batali have penned Six-Worders, along with hundreds of thousands of people across the world.

Contact: Six-Word Memoir editor Larry Smith for more information.

Six-Word Search: Labor Day

August 28th, 2013 by Shauna Greene


Inferno, courtesy of K. Kendall via

Labor Day is around the corner.

Why do we celebrate this first Monday of September each year? Hardly a trick question, yet the meaning surprisingly stumps people. It’s not about birthing, although that’s a doozy of a job and aptly named. Labor Day, declared a Federal holiday in 1894, was established to honor the labor movement and the struggles of our nation’s working class. Traditionally, it marked the passing of summer—halfway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving—and the start of school year and was the cue to pack away your fabulous wardrobe whites for the year.

Fast-forward a century: unions are on the decline, our workforce and school calendars have changed, and wearing white post-summer—while still cause for comment in some circles—is no longer taboo. Ironically, Labor Day is one of the busiest days of the year for retailers and many service industry workers. Thankfully, this three-day weekend offers most of us a chance to uncork a bottle of carefree and savor one last summer night with family or friends. Even if you never leave your doorstep, the destination is less important than the point: take a break and get away.

Here are a few Six Word Memoirs to get you in the mood for the long weekend ahead, however you spend it. Feel free to add your own!

Labor Day USA. Few know why.

No Monday morning madness… Labor Day!!!

Maverick; wearing white after Labor Day!

Labor Day. Working class. Perfect segue.

Read more »

Six-Word Search: Back to School

August 27th, 2013 by Yael Roberts

by Lel4nd on flickr

by Lel4nd on flickr

Whether you’re a preschooler, middle schooler, high schooler, college student, teacher, professor, or parent, the end of August signifies a return to the books. Even for those who no longer step foot in locker-lined hallways, the memories, bitter or sweet, come back every fall. Back to school ads litter drugstores and Staples, and the rush for binders, notebooks, and pens begins. School isn’t just about ages or grades: the world is one big school, and we’re all students, learning from those around us. It’s never to late to go back to school.

School starts soon, summer slipping fast!

School starting soon, summer reading unfinished.

Falling leaves, school buses, cooler temperatures…

Back by unpopular demand, it’s school.

It’s coming: back-to-school nightmares have begun.
lillybrook Read more »

Television Serial Sixes

August 22nd, 2013 by Amy Lauren




The end of summer brings to mind…the coming fall television season! We may be in the age of Netflix and binge-watcing, but many of our favorite shows still arrive the old-fashioned way: episode by episode, week by week, season by season. The Six-Word community has a lot to say about the tube as this Six-Word Search reveals. See which sixes spark your nostalgic side or have you reaching for the clicker.

So… TV time. Criminal Minds? Yes. –Mike_Bonheim

Glee member before it was cool. -Believe

Man, Kirstie Alley was hot. Cheers. -chipvaliant

I still watch The Power Rangers. -littleglassfingers

I need a Mad Men secretary. -bbhead

Read more »

Six-Word Memoirs in Words and Images

August 19th, 2013 by Allison Keene

Last week’s Six-Word Memoirs dealt with balance, both in one’s personality and in one’s actions. To see all five of the week’s illustrated memoirs, visit SMITH Magazine’s Facebook, Tumblr, or Pinterest.

Six Word Search: Your Summer In Six

August 16th, 2013 by Liz Crowder

Summer is a fleeting, mixed bag of sun-drenched fun and emotionally fraught experiences (read: family vacations). Whether you’ve decided to spend Summer 2013 gorging on over-processed delicacies at a state fair, sweating and sun-bathing on the sandy shores of a beach or watching your kids chase each other around the sprinkler to the noxious yet comforting scent of sun-screen and bug spray, it’s clear as summer begins to wind down that Six-Word Memoirs aren’t solely for the school year.

Among the six word sun-themed submissions that poured in during the summer months are memoirs that seared, sizzled and shined. Read on to see our favorite–often humorous–soliloquies of a summer very nearly gone by and find out how your fellow memoirists beat the heat (or not) this year. Click the link next to an author’s name to see more of his or her memoirs and feel free to share what your summer in six words looked like!

I’m hot, but only meteorologically speaking.

Some (do not) like it hot.

Banging radiator, summer’s on vacation again.

Overly prepared cheapskate: Summer. Purchases parka.

Beach Bummers: red flags, jellyfish, lightening.

Too well insulated for this heat.
Read more »

Six-Word Memoirs in Words and Images

August 11th, 2013 by Allison Keene

This week’s Six-Word Memoirs were colored by varying types of nostalgia: the yearning for childhood, the remembrance of past wrongs, and the recollection of the most beautiful parts of a relationship, even as it ends. To see all of this week’s illustrated memoirs, visit SMITH Magazine’s Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Six-Word Search: Social Media

August 7th, 2013 by Allison Keene

My mom’s on Facebook so now we know it’s official: social media is the new face of communication. Every day, millions of users are choosing to communicate through them rather than IRL (in real life).

Social Media provides its users with unique advantages and privileges, not the least of which include anonymity, the ability to communicate with a wide audience, new creative platforms, and opportunities for innovation. Huge upsides, for sure, yet growing discussion points to the changes that internet culture has wreaked on traditional society. Collectively, we wonder how our attraction to the internet lifestyle has affected us or, as some science suggests, altered us. By replacing IRL communication with internet interaction, it is unclear what, if anything, we are sacrificing.

The Six-Word community is very vocal on the subject of Social Media and its effects on daily life. The memoirs below discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of this new type of communication that, regardless of whether we embrace or reject it, is here to stay.

Some in the social media aren’t.

- Staraj

Social media: lightning communication, silent people.

- JohnnyEdwards

VIVA LA RESISTANCE! Resisting Social Media.

- Revolutionary

Oh God! My mother’s on Facebook!

- TwoScoops

Unfriended aunt, not social media responsible.

- PrincessLief

Discovering childhood favorites on YouTube: Priceless!

- BrightLight2

Watching myself on YouTube. How liberating.

- somethingnew

Lonelier since advent of social media.

- ChewyD2

Texting? Emailing? Twittering? Sending postcards instead.

- favepeep

Leave me alone. I’m social media-ing.

- rosavie

Tumblr is fixed; life can resume.

- BecomingLogyn

Have created a curriculum on YouTube.

- jossy

Social media break; learned a lot.

- MaryValle

Joan, “Explain to me the Twitter.”

- marymc

Read more »

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