The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Six-Word Search: Graduation

June 20th, 2013 by Allison Keene

For some graduates, leaving the familiar world of their high school or college and transitioning into what is often described as the “real world” is purely exciting, a simultaneous beginning and ending that offers a host of new opportunities, all built on the solid foundation from which they are graduating. For others, however, graduation can be a time of trepidation as they leave the comforting niche of higher ed. Graduation can be a painful farewell for those who aren’t ready to leave, or for those who are left behind.

This famous rite of passage, in all its emotional complexity, is captured in your Six-Word Memoirs. You told us about your pride at earning your diploma, the struggles and doubts you faced along the way, and even about your own surprise when you actually succeeded. Parents and grandparents lauded their loved ones’ achievements and told us how much their graduates would be missed. Fears were confessed, dreams described, childhoods mourned, and metaphorical caps tossed, all in six-word packages.

Here we have compiled just a few of the vast collection of your thoughts on graduation. For more, visit the featured memoirs page or, to see several illustrated memoirs on gradation, the Six-Word Memoir Tumblr.

Shackled ’til graduation. Free ’til death.

-  jman94xx

My graduation present… was my daughter.


Graduation near. Not finding work feared.


Outdoor graduation: audience applauded, thunder clapped.


Graduation day. Goodbye, my babies.


Graduation party tomorrow, then real life.


Student requested my presence at graduation.

Read more »

Video: Six-Word Memoirs on Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll

June 16th, 2013 by Larry Smith

A video reel—with a terrific soundtrack—of Six-Word Memoirs on Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll from contributors to the Six-Word Memoir project, along with some of our famous friends like Elizabeth Gilbert, Aimee Mann, Erica Jong, Adam Schlesinger, Raoul Felder, and more.

Six-Word Memoirs of the Week in Words and Images

June 15th, 2013 by allison

This week’s Six-Word Memoirs were dominated by two timely topics: graduation and Father’s Day. We chose a few of these memoirs to feature and illustrate, all of which you can view on SMITH Magazine’s Tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest pages.

Six-Word Search: Dad

June 13th, 2013 by Shauna Greene

From the outpouring of memoirs on fathers and fatherhood, it’s clear: pops are important, their impact felt whether present, absent, or no longer with us. At their best, and occasionally, at their worst, fathers have helped shape your worlds. Many Sixers revere their Dads—some traditional, others, unconventional—and reflect on how each has influenced the other’s lives.

With Father’s Day approaching, we take this time to celebrate fatherhood, in all forms and descriptions. Join us and enjoy a few of our favorite Six-Word Memoirs on Dads as we honor all of the exceptional men who touch our lives so profoundly. If your father did not meet the mark, hopefully you know a Dad who has and can think of him today.

Measure of good dad, his son.
Mark Hashizume (with his son, above)

When I shave, Dad’s the reflection.
Vincent Aurelius

Dad had a second job…Superman.

Fishing, farming, camping. Childhood with dad.

Met man, my dad in disguise?
(click memoir to read the backstory)
Read more »

Six-Word Search: “Vacation”

June 12th, 2013 by Yael Roberts

With the arrival of summer, vacation begins for students. But for non-students, summer doesn’t always mean vacation. While students sleep in, and the boredom begins, working professionals yearn for a vacation, or at least a break from constant working and wakefulness. Whether we like it or not, some things take vacations even when we don’t: from creativity to softball skills to God, these things take off without our permission. So don’t ask anyone for permission to take a vacation. Your office can be a vacation from home, and home a vacation from the office. The park becomes the beach on the weekend, your own backyard a foreign country. These SMITH users understand that vacationing from the idea of an ideal vacation can be it’s own sort of get-away. So take a vacation from what you’re supposed to be doing now, and read on below for more vacation ideas:

Slept in. Vacation has officially started.


Snow shovel’s eight month vacation begins.


And boredom commences with summer vacation.


Summer vacation hides the clocks& calendars.


Read more »

“Never too late to start living!”—Six Words from Tony Winners

June 10th, 2013 by Larry Smith

“Congrats! What’s your Tony nomination story?” was the prompt we gave Tony Award nominees, and from actors to scenic designers, Broadway’s best scribbled out their six-word reaction to their Tony Nomination. We shared their six words, by their own hearts and indeed hands in a photo gallery—you can see some of Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch favorite sixes in a story about the Six-Word Memoir/Tony Awards collaboration.

On Sunday at Radio City Music Hall, the Tony Awards winners were announced—and some of these theatrical Six-Word Memoir scribes had the chance to say a few more words to the world as they accepted their award. In the plays category, Courtney B. Vance won best performance by an actor in a featured role for Lucky Guy (”It’s Kandinsky! It’s painted on both sides!”). In the musicals category, Gabriel Ebert won best performance by an actor in a featured role for Matilda The Musical (”Poignancy is ephemeral. Tonys are, too!”), Billy Porter won best performance by an actor in a leading role for the winner of best musical Kinky Boots (”Theater saved my life!!! #original dream”), and for her role in Pippin, Andrea Martin won best performance by an actress in a featured role (”Never too late to start living!”)

Neil Patrick Harris, who contributed his Six-Word Memoir for one of our recent books (“Barney, Doogie—average names elude me!”) was once again the perfect host. Now if he’d just share his six words on what it was like to make out with a dog.

At after-parties as The Plaza and The Carlyle I had a chance to meet a few of the stars. Richard Kind, who was nominated for The Big Knife, said he loved the concept of six words, and offered these nuggets for our upcoming book, Six-Word Advice: “The journey: more fun than success.” I chatted with another six-word fan, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’s talented and stunning Shalita Grant, whose six words— “Partied til 4AM, nominated by 8AM”—rung true among the joyous scene. And while first-time Tony nominee for Benj Pasek. He may not have won, but as I met his beaming mother, I knew his six words about being nominated for a Tony could not have been more true: “Jewish family freaking out on Skype!”

Thanks to all the nominees who participated, and a special thanks to the inspiration behind “What’s Your Six-Word Tony Story?” to Elisa Shevitz of The Broadway League and her amazing colleagues, including Erica Ryan, Shawn Purdy and Ben Pesner, as well as Ian Weiss the amazing crew of digital minds at Serino/Coyn.

See photos of these memoirs below, and view the full set of photos on our Facebook page.

Read more »

Six-Word Memoirs of the Week in Words and Images

June 9th, 2013 by allison

This week’s Six-Word Memoirs centered around a theme that, at one time or another, has affected almost all of us: graduation. To see all of this week’s illustrated memoirs, visit SMITH Magazine’s Tumblr, Facebook, or Pinterest.

“Nora, Hope We Got it Right”—Six Words from Tony Nominees

June 7th, 2013 by Larry Smith

Regular readers and writers on the Six-Word Memoir project know that some of the best sixes come in moments that mean the most to us. So in 2010, when prolific sixer and Director of Communications at The Broadway League, Elisa Shevitz, (”Insomniac dreamer, a thousand times goodnight”; “I hear my inner Woody Allen”; “I do it for the shows”) suggested we ask Tony Award nominees to share what they’re feeling about this honor in exactly six words I knew she was onto something wonderful.

For the last four years at a fancy lunch to honor the Tony Award nominees, some of the world’s most famous folks in the theater world have been doing just that. As the likes of George C. Wolfe, Tom Hanks, and Cyndi Lauper take their spot at the table they’re greeted with a card with this prompt: “Congrats! What’s your Tony nomination story?” Many of Broadway’s best—from the actors on the stage to the rarely scene miracle workers behind it—shared their reaction to being honored by their peers in six words. Each card is captured using the modern magic of Instagram and collected in this photo gallery in anticipation and celebration of the 67th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 9.

Here at Six-Word Memoirs we have a special affection for host Neil Patrick Harris. Long before he became the toast of the Tony’s he graciously wrote his own Six-Word Memoir for one of our Six-Word Memoir book anthologies: “Barney, Doogie—average names elude me!”

Tasty Bits: The Six-Word Review Contest with

June 6th, 2013 by Yael Roberts

We’re teaming up with the online, artisanal food shop for a scrumptious new challenge: Six-Word Reviews. Beginning June 6 and for six weeks after, write one or many Six-Word Reviews about a product on Mouth, and post to Facebook or Twitter as well, and you could win $66 worth of delicious Mouth offerings. There’s no limit on the number of reviews you can write, and we’re giving away a prize each week. Judges include celebrity chef Marc Murphy, SNL alum and Suburgatory star Ana Gasteyer, journalist David Rosengarten, Burger Land host George Motz, Mouth founder Craig Kanarick, and Six-Word Memoirs own Larry Smith.

Here’s a taste of some recent Six-Word Reviews:

Peanut buttery goodness, chocolaty heaven.

— Violet, reviewing Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cookies

I could live on this stuff.

— Meatman, reviewing Beef Jerky

Tastes like happy childhood beach memories.

— Rachael Donnelly, reviewing Salt Water Taffy

Guilt-free ingredients. Delightful taste. Happy tummy.

— Angela, reviewing Sandcastle Cookies

Almost don’t even need the martini.

— Bogman, reviewing Maple Bacon Peanuts

Like six Snickers compressed into one.

— C, reviewing Snack’r Candy Bar

You won’t stop till it’s gone.

— Lana, reviewing French Onion Confit

For more info about this delicious and addictive contest, and to start writing your Six-Word Reviews, head over to

Searching for Sixes on June 6

June 6th, 2013 by Yael Roberts

Today's page in the Six-Word Memoir calendar

Today’s date is full of sixes. Not only is it the date 6/6, but the year is 2013 (2 + 1 + 3 = 6).

One user declared 6/6 annual support SMITH Magazine day.

One user declared 6/6 annual support SMITH Magazine day.

Six is a special number here at the Six-Word Memoir project. In numerology, the number 6 learns from others, cares for them, and teaches them. The number 6 builds communities by keeping people together. Six hold together members of the SMITH community, who challenge each other to six-offs, sixcessfully pun with 6, and condense their stories into only six words. But 6 isn’t just a number; it’s become a verb too. Below, sixers share their meta thoughts on sixing:

6/6 send $6/66/666. SMITHmag Sponsor Day.


Writes in 6. Thinks in volumes.


Feels good thinking in “6″s again.


Sometimes, my six sense really tingles.


Thoughts in mixer. Need sixer elixir.


Having affair with six-words; can’t stop.


Only 6 words for 17 years.


SMITH readers digest in 6-word bites.


Read more »

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