The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Story behind the Six Archive

Teen Valentine’s Day Contest Winner Joins Live ‘Love & Heartbreak’ Show

Monday, February 11th, 2013

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, SMITHTeens and teen fiction community invited young romantics and cynics alike to share their stories of love and heartbreak in the form of a six-word love letter or break-up note.
We received hundreds of sixers in response, along with their brief backstories on Figment, exploring the ups, downs and unexpected loop de loops of [...]

“Life is hard, eat more chocolate”—Scenes from the Six-Word Book Tour

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

There was sex, there were tears, there was chocolate. There were limited-edition Six-Word Memoir buttons for everyone who shared a memoir. Here are a few scenes from the It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure book tour. Next up: a special evening at the 92nd Street Y on [...]

Update: Where in the World is “miandering”?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

SMITH community member miandering continues her global trek, detailing her path (”Senmonorom. Sanctuary for elephants. And me”), impressions (”Phnom Penh. Caution: No traffic laws”), experiences (”Teaching teenage girls challenging, exhausting, rewarding”), and travails (”Visa expired again. Another Vietnam border-run”), in a series of six-word memoirs, many with accompanying images. Then there’s my personal favorite: “No [...]

Backstory: “Wheelchair, walker, crutches, cane, second grade.”

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Today’s Six-Word Memoir of the Day, “Wheelchair, walker, crutches, cane, second grade,” comes from a SMITH contributor who goes by the named “MarchthisQ.” Via email, I learned she’s 24, works in publishing, lives in Manhattan, and first heard about the Six-Word Memoir project through Facebook. “I’m considering writing a full memoir,” she told [...]

Introducing “Backstory”—Stories Behind the Six-Word Memoirs

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

There’s no longer any debate: you can absolutely tell a compelling, poignant, and/or funny story in just six words. But six words aren’t necessarily the end—they can be a beginning. We’ve heard from many writers whose six-word memoir spurred them on to write thousands more. Robin Templeton, author of “After Harvard, had baby with crackhead,” [...]

Story behind the Six: “Not Quite What I Was Planning”

Monday, May 5th, 2008

We often tell the story of Summer Grimes, whose sixer was selected as the most all encompassing and slapped on the front cover of our little literary effort. For almost a year she ignored my congratulatory emails. In this email, she explains why, then hops right aboard the good ship Six:
“Dear Rachel,
I am completely [...]

The Church of Six Words

Friday, April 4th, 2008

I’m a devoutly lapsed Jew. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely without religion. Once a year, I put on a green sweater and go to Easter services with my wife. Even though Jesus isn’t my main man, I do find the music and spirit of the place, well, uplifting.
“Darling,” my wife asked a few [...]

Story behind the Six: Joyce Carol Oates

Friday, February 8th, 2008

After being blown away by six-word submissions from people across the country, we began to put out feelers for contributions by slightly better-known writers. We loved the idea of the memoirs of famous and not-so-famous folks stuffed together in a joyous grab bag of stories. The very first day, I came home from work and [...]

Story behind the Six: “Multiple miscarriages. Cousin will carry baby.”

Friday, February 8th, 2008

The above six-word life story comes from Joanna Brody. Heady stuff to begin with, right? Then she emailed me trying to retract it; there had been medical complications and their last hope had fallen through. I encouraged her to keep the memoir anyway, explaining that it was an honest slice of her life. Then she [...]

Story behind the Six: “Changing mind postponed demise by decades.”

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Scott O’Neil had lifelong battles with depression and suicidal feelings, until in 1982 he made a mind-over-matter decision to change his life, as voiced by his six-word memoir above. When he felt better, he began volunteering at a suicide hotline. He was excited to be included in this book, but had a lot of anxiety [...]

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