The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Make Art, Not Schwag—Gifts for Word Lovers

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Larry Smith

When I started SMITH in January 2006, I did so with a core belief that I was going to start something that would add to and create conversation rather than make more noise in a world that surely needed no more. When I realized that the way SMITH would be supported would not be in fact web ads (ah, how naive we once were…) but by products that would naturally emerge from the site, my cofounder Tim Barkow and I created a new rule: make art, not schwag.

With that in mind, we humbly add noise to the holiday shopping season with a few gifts ideas from the world of SMITH. Nothing’s more than $20; each and every one of the items listed below are great for all ages; and whether you’re sharing a page of our daily calendar with a colleague or sporting a T-shirt with your Six-Word Memoir on it, you can be quite sure that one thing will happen: a conversation will begin.

Here’s the cheat sheet for Cyber Monday. Longer descriptions in this post below as well as in our new SMITH Shop.

For your kid’s teacher, anyone’s stocking, or the sixth night of Hanukkah: One of our Six-Word Memoir books—great for ages 8 through 88 (and above).
For your goofy cousin: I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure.
For an old-school smartie without a smart phone: The Six–Word Memoir Calendar.
For the whole family: The Six Word Game (see below for a special discount for SMITH readers)
For your sweetie, or sweetie to be: Put the six words that describe him or her on a custom Six-Word T-shirt. (We’ve got a discount for the tees, too—see below.)

The Six Word Game
The Six-Word Memoir Game is here! Since we launched the Six-Word Memoir project in 2006, time and again people have suggested we make a game. Now we’re pleased to announce that the Six-Word Memoir game is in stores courtesy of University Games, the shop behind games such as Murder Mystery Party, 20 Questions, and Worst-Case Scenario. The Six Word game is a simple format that requires little more than a pack of cards, a pencil, and a group of friends. We suspect Six Words will spur the same playful passion—and addiction to six-word wordplay—in game form as it does online and in books.
Buy it: Amazon, Toys R Us or, where you’ll receive 10% off your entire order when you have the Six-Word Game in your shopping cart if you use the promotion code 10PD6WM.

The Six-a-Day Calendar
From SMITH Magazine and Sellers Publishing comes the Six-Word Memoir daily calendar, a surprisingly addictive way to start the day. Each day, you’ll get a surprising, inspiring, provocative, profound, serious, or sometimes just silly look into someone’s life, and then have a chance to write down your own Six-Word Memoir for the day.
Buy it: Amazon or via Sellers Publishing.

Six-Word T-shirts
We’ve teamed up with Spreadshirt to help you create personalized Six-Word Memoir T-shirts. Choose your favorite Six-Worders from the site and peruse the editor’s favorites. For the family daredevil: “It’s pretty high. You go first.” For the new parent: “Parenting: Idiot. Expert. Idiot. Expert. Idiot.” Or write your own. Create and send one in just 30 seconds here. SMITH readers who use the promotion code SMITH11 at checkout receive 15 percent off orders through December 9.

Six-Word Memoir Books
The books that helped spur the international Six-Word Memoir craze remain about the best stocking stuffer or sixth night of Hanukkah treat around. Our newest book, Six Words About Work, is a collaboration with the work experts at Mercer. Just off the presses, Work features 400 memoirs about why people do what they do, lessons learned at work, and more.
But it: Available exclusively online at Blurb.

And don’t forget our classics such as It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure Which six words describe Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Silverman, Frank McCourt, and Isabel Allende? There’s only one way to find out. Share the latest in Six-Word Memoirs with your family and friends, or walk into your next holiday party bearing the gift of six instead of yet another bottle of $10 wine. You’ll be the hit of the party as the conversation starts to fly.

I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure
What better way to express adolescent hopes, angst, and philosophies than in six carefully chosen words? Our SMITH Teens have only just begun their literary conquest. A great gift for the teenager in your family.

For a complete list of our Six-Word Memoir books, as well as graphic novels, check out the SMITH Books page.

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.