Top Six Memoirs to Celebrate Character


Character informs how we think and behave. We all have “character,” but it’s the personal experiences that make our character strengths unique and play an important role in our successes. For SixContest #84, in honor of Character Day, we asked you to capture character with the Six-Word challenge: “What does “character” mean to you?” Character Day founder Tiffany Shlain reminds us that our character strengths evolve, offering room for growth and personal development (“We are all works in progress.” —@tiffanyshlain via Twitter).

Wake Forest University Office of Student Engagement included #CharacterIn6Words in their #CharacterDay2016 event to help students identify what’s at the heart of character:

#characterin6words #wfucharacterday

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The winner of our Flash Contest on Twitter will receive a copy of The Best Advice in Six Words (“Edit the bad. Embellish the good.” —@KathrynDiPasqua).

Although Character Day 2016 is over, these Top Six memoirs highlight the values and qualities we should continue to develop year-round:

6. “Moving mountains with persistence, overcoming resistance.” —mzejay

5. “Living your truth, accepting your flaws.” —ChristineMacdonald

4. “I am badass, not half ass.” —Danir

3. “True character: revealed when one’s alone.” —JoC.

2. “Doing what’s right, not what’s popular.” —rsqdogsmom

And the character-filled Six Words we all can live by:

1. “Finding and following a purposeful path.” —tagishcharley

Honorable Mention goes to Middle School teacher @elizurb3, who jumped early into the #CharacterIn6Words conversation and brought fellow educators and students along with her (including these gems: “Responsibility leads the way in life” and “Small acts of leadership change lives”). 

Congratulations to tagishcharley, and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at—keep on Sixing!

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Mrs. Kochheiser’s Sixth Grade Students at Waverly East Intermediate School in Lansing, Michigan


Waverly East Intermediate School in Lansing, Michigan is a one-to-one school, with an emphasis on the ways that technology can enhance learning and self-expression. Sixth grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Kristin Kochheiser explores this intersection with passion, recently introducing Six-Word Memoirs with her Language Arts classes to do so.

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Mrs. Kochheiser came across Six-Word Memoirs while training to become a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project during the summer of 2014. She and her fellow consultants-in-training were assigned to write a Six-Word Memoir. “I thought it was so neat! I liked the focus on how few words you really need to portray a large message.”

Six-Word Memoirs was easily adapted to Kochheiser’s classroom plans: “I was looking to put together digital and visual media with words: Six-Word Memoirs was the perfect fit to do that.” The assignment lasted three weeks and used technology in a number of of ways.

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The Top Six Memoirs About Nature


In our busy lives, sometimes we forget to enjoy the natural splendor of the world around us. For SixContest #83, we asked you to immerse yourself in the many wonders of nature—in Six Words. Some advised on the importance of preserving our environment (“Nurture well what nature gives you.” –maryjane31), while others reminded us that our surroundings are not always carefree (“Nature stormed in, stole my world.” —sisterpoet, with a backstory below about the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy). But the overwhelming sentiment was heartfelt appreciation for our natural world and the beauty it brings to our lives.

Introducing our Top Six favorites from this contest:

6. “Mother Nature: sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel.” —CuzinVin

5. “Earth: Your place or mine? Ours.” —l8leigh

4. “Hiking is nature’s road to tranquility!” —@bobbistanley (via Twitter)

3. “Before Netflix, I binge watched Nature.” —Neesha101

2. “Despite the storms, I will blossom.” —@oopsalittle (via Twitter)

And a natural fit for the top spot…

1. “Got lost in nature. Found myself.” —anpsmn

Congratulations, anpsmn, and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at—keep on Sixing!

Ed. Note: sisterpoet’s backstory: “Superstorm Sandy destroyed my shore home. My life was never the same. It took me a long while to even drive on the parkway. Eventually, I was able to go to events or places I had been to but it was difficult. Just recently, I’ve worked my way up to a 10 day stay. When I am alone, on the beach, I cry for what is lost and what will never be. My children had the privilege of a life of summer ease as did I. No future generation of ours will. We have no place on this shore to make new memories. The ocean came in and wiped us clean. We have no choice but to start again.”

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Memoirist of the Month—September 2016: Cara Jean Spittle Long

“Six Words gives me the opportunity to write every day, without excuse. The writing from the other Sixer’s inspires me to write, live life, to dream, and to find laughter. Six-Word Memoirs read like poetry to me, with so many layers in these short stories.”


 Cara Jean Spittle Long
Place: Eagle Mountain, Utah
SMITH Member Since: July 2014

About a year after joining Six-Word Memoirs, Cara Long posted a memoir that captures our wish for everyone on our site: “Finding my voice in six words.” Known as caralongwrites, like many Six Words enthusiasts, her literary mind is fluent in wordplay (“I suffer multiple writing personality disorder). After two years and 600+ memoirs, the voice Cara shares with us can be as enchanting (“Wearing your lingering scent of goodbye”) as it is self-doubting (“Playing whack-a-mole with my childhood insecurities”). Yet Cara’s greatest priorities are reflected in her memoirs about family (“My hands weed where hers cannot”). Congratulations to Cara Long as our Memoirist of the Month for September 2016. Learn more about Cara’s generous heart as answers our Six Questions below.

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Six Words + Lovabull = The #LovabullinSix Campaign


A Collaboration Between Six-Word Memoirs | Lovabull | Thirty-One #LovabullinSix 

It takes just Six Words to make someone think differently. That’s why Six-Word Memoirs collaborated with @pitbullinstagram—featuring an assist from The Huffington Post’s RuffPost—on the #LovabullinSix campaign, bringing awareness about rescue dogs across the globe.

Lovabull is a Columbus-based organization that unites pit bull owners and advocates to create a brighter future for this often misunderstood breed. Founder Aaron Blevins was delighted to use the Six-Word form to raise awareness for his cause. This joint effort between our communities allows us to elevate “the impact we are making on pit bulls and every other lovable and misunderstood animal in the world,” Blevins emphasizes.

The focus of #LovabullinSix is “to affirm the importance of the dogs, the organizations and the people dedicated to the cause of fostering and adoption.” Participants used the hashtag #LovabullinSix when posting their six-word testimonials on Instagram. Entrants were randomly selected to receive prizes of stylish personalized products from Thirty-One.

Sharing these Six-Word stories and compelling images allows everyone to celebrate the love and support for these affectionate, adorable animals. Bully breed advocates were invigorated and those new to the cause were drawn in. Here are six of our favorites in honor of this heartwarming campaign:

From emaciated to the good life. —@mysterypibble

Repost via @mysterypibble – “From emaciated to the good life” ❤️ My #LovabullinSix affirmation goes out to @cali_and_carly. Ivan heard of two abandoned pit bulls and worked with others to quickly save them and get them the care they desperately needed. Cupcake (then Hope) was emaciated and had just given birth. Ivan and the #blüecrüe helped nurse her back to health. They were fostering her and realized she was home with them. Cupcake got the forever family she has always deserved ❤️ Now I challenge @landsharklennie, @carotiger and @loveisapittie to complete their own #LovabullinSix and affirm other wonderful rescues in their life! Join the #LovabullinSix movement by following our Six-Word partners @sixwordselfie, @thirtyone and @abbywalters, and then by visiting (link in @pitbullinstagram bio) to get the simple steps you can take with us to show the world why homeless, misunderstood or labeled animals deserve the chance of a bright future!

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Rescue community brought me best friends. 

“Rescue community brought me best friends.” ❤️ My #LovabullinSix affirmation goes out to @txpibblemom (pictured 📷) and my @ninecrazydogladies. Words can’t express how much I love these ladies. I talk to them all day, everyday, and mostly about dogs (duh). We are a sisterhood! I have this amazing, dog-obsessed @instagram community to thank for guiding me to these strong women. 🔻 The rescue community brings out the best in all of us. Even on a tough day, we strive to do better, and lead purposeful, passionate lives. All for the love of animals that need us. We are a voice for the voiceless, we are a living, breathing mantra of #adoptdontshop, we are the change we want to see in the world. We are awesome and unstoppable, and Angel (@rebeccacorry) will always be a monumental part of it all. Rest easy sweet cookie-loving hippo nugget, we love you. ❤️ 👉 I challenge @ohhellodog and @mysterypibble to join us with their very own #LovabullinSix affirmation. You can join too! Check out the link in @pitbullinstagram bio! (@thirtyone and @sixwordselfie too!)

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Showing unconditional love for the misunderstood.

2nd chances are all you need.

Reactive dogs are not bad dogs.


“Reactive Dogs Are Not Bad Dogs” This #LovaBullInSix affirmation goes out to the seriously awesome accounts of @knoxdogyvr, @mangochris, @twoblockheads, @twocitydogs and @rockyandrusko (there are many more, just look for #reactivedogs or #reactivedogsunite) They all have reactive pups or discuss reactivity regularly, and are showing the world that these dogs can be amazing family members. Not only that, but they work completely force free. 💜 I’ve worked with many reactive dogs and there often seems to be such a bad stigma that their owners take a long time to come forward to ask for help. People feel ashamed to admit their dog has issues. Owners feel like their dogs are ‘off’, not normal, or that they are bad owners who can’t get it together. And who can blame them, since in the public eye, people still often judge reactive dogs and their owners as lazy, not knowledgeable enough to deal with the issue, and other things. The reasons for reactivity are manifold, and mostly caused by either frustration or anxiety. The frustration or anxiety regarding other dogs, people, encounters while being leashed, and more, result from improper or no socialization, warning behaviors having been punished in the past so that the dogs now skip the subtle clues and go straight to more aggressive forms of showing their emotional state, and many other factors. The situation for the owners, however, is always the same – constantly having to be watchful, hyper conscious of their surroundings, and trying to ensure their dogs don’t encounter situations that put them over threshold. They continuously work with their pups to make the world a less scary or frustrating place, and to ensure they have many positive, pleasant experiences to modify their behavior slowly. It’s hard work, and they deserve our absolute respect. Even more, they deserve for us to be respectful of their need for space. People with ‘easy’ dogs are often completely unaware of the delicate situations they put reactive dogs in. Don’t ever let your dog approach another dog without permission. Not every dog likes being pummeled by a happy stranger. Let’s get educated and change the perception of reactivity.

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From bait dog to bed hog.

“From ​b​ait dog to ​b​ed hog” ​We’re spreading awareness of the #LovabullinSix movement​ to show the world why homeless, misunderstood or labeled animals deserve the chance of a bright future! ​LoveabullinSix is using captions with 6 WORDS to change hearts in our communities ​and ​to ultimately make an even larger, more localized impact.​ ​Our six words​ above ​sum up the story of this #PBCAmbassaDog, Oscar de la Renta. They describe what we’ve always felt about #rescuedogs: That they are bundles of possibility just waiting to happen. Now ​we challenge ​@wilburties @lukewesterman34 and @twoblockheads​ to complete their own #LovabullinSix challenge and affirm other beautiful rescued dogs​!​ ​Please follow​ the Six-Word partners @sixwordselfie, @thirtyone and @abbywalters, and then by visiting to get the simple steps you can take with us. #pitbulls #pittie2020 #pitbulllove #pitbulladvocate #projectbluecollar ​#supporttheunderdog #pitbullsinstagram

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Ms. Ahmed’s Second Grade Art Class at Classical Charter Schools in Bronx, New York

IMG_4620-1Students in Zafirah Ahmed’s second grade art class have the freedom to allow their creativity and imagination to blossom at Classical Charter Schools in the South Bronx, New York. When Ahmed discovered Six-Word Memoirs recently (thanks to me, her sister and Six Words intern) she was excited to share the simplicity of the six-word form with these young students as a new way to inspire creative expression.

Ahmed introduced Six-Word Memoirs during the last week of school, asking students to write about their favorite projects and moments during the school year. This reflection on their journey of craft and creativity required a bit of thought and conversation in the classroom.

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The Top Six Ways To #StayCoolin6Words


The hotter it is, the more hotheaded we are! For SixContest #81, we wanted to learn your secrets for beating the heat and keeping your composure. While some seek the refreshment of adult beverages (“Gin and tonic. Maybe a couple.” —JRE23), others revert to tried-and-true practices (“Inner kid wisdom: try water balloons.” —JanAlexander). With no end to the rising temperatures and peak humidity in sight—for the foreseeable future—we all could use some extra cool.

Here’s the Top Six tips for how to #StayCoolin6Words:

6. “I’m staying as cool as Obama.” —JAD

5. “Best thoughts happen under cool showers.” —@FlorenceOnyang1 (via Twitter)

4. “Forgive the critic. Forgo the chatter.” —jeccaberta

3. “It’s always cold in the Supermarket…” —VIWJG

2. “No underwear and a confident attitude…” —canadafreeze

And the award for coolest cucumber goes to…

1. “Don’t go to bed angry, clothed.” —l8leigh

Congratulations to l8leigh and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at—keep on Sixing!

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Memoirist of the Month—August 2016: Sophie Ezzell

“My favorite Six-Word Memoir is also my first Memoir of the Day. I remember sneaking my phone out of my backpack during class so I could write a Six, and shortly thereafter, seeing my words in ‘The Daily Six’ box at the top of the screen. All I could say through that impossible-to-hide grin was ‘I’m a writer.’ ”

Name: Sophie Ezzell
Place: Knoxville, Tennessee
SMITH Member Since: January 2015

You’re not alone if you read through Sophie Ezzell’s memoirs and wonder, “Are these written by a teen?” That rhetorical question has been posted on many of Sophie’s memoirs — as a compliment — since she joined Six-Word Memoirs as TypewriterGirl in January 2015. With more than 700 memoirs to date, her writer’s voice is vivid (“Caps flew high, spirits even higher”) and artfully savvy (“Telling my secrets in Garamond font”). Sophie’s natural wit (“I’m starting to syndicate my rants”) is often free of inhibition (“Changed his contact name to Bastard”), a powerful combination for any writer. Congratulations to Sophie Ezzell, who marks her transition to collegiate life as our Memoirist of the Month for August 2016. Read her answers to our Six Questions and you’ll agree: Sophie is the real deal.

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The Top Six-Word 2016 Campaign Buttons


We’re still more than 100 days out from the 2016 Presidential Election—and at this point, it seems like everyone is a political expert. So for SixContest #80, we challenged you to create your own six-word campaign buttons. Many entries stressed the importance of getting to the ballot box (“Because the Youth Vote Always Matters” —@DemsAbroadYouth via Twitter), while other expressed their frustration with the options presented (“How Have We Come to This?” —Elisa R. via Facebook). From protecting our citizens to breaking down barriers (“Walls Can Never Be the Answer” —maryjane31), it’s clear many Americans are concerned about the future. If you’re already sick of all the campaigning, an epic distraction is just days away (“Let the Olympics Bring Comic Relief” —zsuzsu). Meanwhile, these Top Six campaign buttons are worth pinning on your bags and lapels:

6. “Patriarchy Built This country. Smash Through” —@kronn (via Twitter)


5. “Let’s Not Make America Hate Again” —@davepell (via Twitter)


4. “227 Year Old Document Needs Revision” —ChewyD2ChewyD2CampaignButton

3. “Because Public Service Is About Service” —@MollyJongFast (via Twitter)


2. “Our Next President Has Jewish Grandchildren” —George_Kaplan

GKCampaignButtonAnd the Six Words that would make this campaign button a collectible…

1. “Vote for Your Children’s Children’s Children” —UUBikerChick


Congratulations to UUBikerChick and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at—keep on Sixing!

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