The Six-Word Memoir Blog

New Book! “Things Don’t Have to be Complicated:” Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World — w/TED Books

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

By Larry Smith

I’m thrilled to announce the release of the eighth book in the Six-Word Memoir series, Things Don’t Have to be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World, published with TED Books, a division of the TED Conference.

Quick links:
Download the book
View excerpt/slideshows in the Washington Post and Brain Pickings.
Read a Q&A with Larry Smith on the TED blog

This book celebrates a number if firsts in the Six-Word Memoir world: our first book that’s entirely illustrated memoirs (and, always, the words and images are all the creation of the memoirist). It’s our first book solely by students, from grade school to grad school. It’s also our first ebook and cost just $2.99. You can get it or gift it on iTunes, Amazon or To read it on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to download the free TED Books app as well.

Things Don’t Have to Be Complicated is also a reminder about all the different interpretations of the six-word prompt. In the Bronx, students in Leah Ruediger’s third-grade class offered raw works about their just-starting lives with memoirs such as, “My goal is to pass college.” Across town at Parsons New School of Design in Manhattan, 20 graduate students in Noel Claro’s illustration class created intricate mosaics of their own lives in progress coupled with precise language, with results such as “Martha Stewart: sans jail and Asian.” Six-Word Memoirs are a popular prompt in art as well as writing classrooms at Rawson Saunders School in Austin, Texas, a K-8 school exclusively for children with dyslexia, where memoirist Megan Schlab wrote, “Got lost in the clearance aisle.”

Take a look at an except from the book with a slideshow featuring many of the students’ work in The Washington Post, with a few of my thoughts alongside each memoir. And on the TED blog, I talk about the history of the Six-Word Memoir project and how it led to this wonderful new book.

Things Don’t Have to be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World, is a beautiful book. Memoir by memoir and click by click it remind me why I love this project and the many places it goes.

Tags: , , ,

8 responses

  1. DXD : ) says:

    I always loved these books. I always wanted to be in one of them!

  2. Believe says:

    Great book, Larry. I’m proud that my little girl is part of it! I’ve purchased it on four devices so far.

  3. Ray Ban Aviators Large Size says:

    Just discovered this blog through Bing, what a way to brighten up my day!
    Ray Ban Aviators Large Size

  4. Nike Air Max 90 Sneakerboot Buy Online says:

    Awesome on the running! And yeah, go low-rise socks. Are you sharing recent pictures soon?
    Nike Air Max 90 Sneakerboot Buy Online

  5. Boutique Longchamp En says:

    Very interesting points. Thanks!
    Boutique Longchamp En

  6. George says:

    Our healthcare specialists will operate with you to decide if adding
    medicines could safely support you lose weight.

  7. Samantha Kollinz says:

    Thank you!

  8. Melvin B. Jefferson says:

    through this article, the writer draws some light on what language to use for a video game. this platform help users to know good knowledge of using perfect places of different languages. Now we should talk about the need for the study. every kid needs some help to be perfect in writing. I am using a very beneficial professional online solution purchasing essays, this performs really well for the education system. Student trust this for good grades.

Leave a Reply

The name you want displayed with your comment.

Emails are not published with comments (i.e., everyone won't see it).

Your Website. This is optional.

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.