“Peace rebuilds what wars tear down.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs Of The Week

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With all the strife in Gaza and the Middle East, our community is keenly aware of the troubled times throughout our world. Whether sharing headlines (“Breaking News: Mideast out of control.”) or opinions (“If you can’t imagine war, GOOD!”), it helps to express feelings, thoughts, and emotions through writing and no form is easier than Six-Word Memoirs. Each memoir tells a story and each story leads to a moment of healing and catharsis. –Gilmarie Brioso

Most Opinionated:If you can’t imagine war, GOOD!” –LetTheWolfin

Ed. Note – We encourage you to check out LetTheWolfin’s backstory and join the conversation in the comments below.

Best Imagery: “Peace rebuilds what wars tear down.” –pennyslife

Most Theoretical: “There’s really nothing left to invade.” –Believe

Best Reporting: “Breaking News: Mideast out of control.” –Staraj

Most Shocking: “Gaza’s Most Inhumane Feature: Exploding Donkeys.” –wescoll

Most Honest: “Maybe I’ll just avoid the news.” –catsmeow

Plus! Share with us your most creative summer drinks and dishes in just six words. SixContest #32 will stir for another week so give us your best summer recipe!

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Top Novels Written in Six Words

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In SixContest #31, we celebrated the man who started it all. Ernest Hemingway’s six-word novel (“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”) inspired us all, so we asked you to take the Hemingway challenge in honor of his 115th birthday on July 21. With nearly 600 entries, there were scores of unique and creative stories, including many incredible riffs on the classic “For sale” beginning. Here are six of our favorites:

6. “Starry dreams. Paltry means. Cunning schemes.” -Liag 

5. “Entered hospital a couple. Exited solo.” –DynamicDbytheC

4. “Mother adjusted the mirror, and smirked.” -HeWhat

3. “For sale. Politician’s soul. Highest bid.” -BanjoDan

2. “Spilled the yogurt, a Greek tragedy.” -3peat

And our top-rated Six-Word Novel is…

1. “Bankrupt monastery became a dude ranch.” -TeaTopper

Congrats to TeaTopper and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our Caption Contests, on FacebookTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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“Digital cosplay: I tweet in character.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs Of The Week

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The six-word form not only calls for a creative use of words; it forces writers to explore sentence structure (or the absence thereof). This week’s best memoirs feature the typographical symbol known as the colon. This punctuation mark is a facilitator of sorts: it introduces ideas, brings lists together, and prepares readers for the information ahead. The colon also offers readers a pause, allowing deeper insights to float to the surface. Some Sixers use colons to highlight wordplay (“Up before the birds: Raven lunatic.”); others for dramatic effect (“Autistic speaks language of genius: silence.”). Sixers know how amazing the colon can be: it adds a touch of complexity that seasons the sentence to perfection. –Gilmarie Brioso

Most True: “Main problem with morning: too early.” -comicbookmommy

Best Wordplay: “Up before the birds: Raven lunatic.” -Contemplative

Best Recollection: “Flashbacks: seeing him everywhere I turn.” BecomingLuke

Healthiest: “Sewing: therapy with a foot pedal.” -LynneWein

Most Genuine: “Autistic speaks language of genius: silence.” -winklett

Most Social:Digital cosplay: I tweet in character.” -CSV1026

Ed. Note—Don’t miss CSV1026’s image and backstory.

Plus! There’s still time to submit to SixContest #31! Can you write a novel in six words? Get yours in by 3pm ET (7/18)!

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“Beating drums for soccer fans worldwide.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs of the Week

Best Six (July 5-July 11)-01-01 (1)The past few weeks, millions have gathered around screens worldwide for the 2014 World Cup. Whether brand-new to soccer or diehard fans, there’s a pride in uniting to root for your country. The best Sixes of this past week showed your enthusiasm for the sport. Many Sixers commented on the games (“Germany vs. Brazil. So bloody surreal.”) and the sportsmanship shown (“Beating drums for soccer fans worldwide.”). Indeed, watching these amazing athletes makes us all want to step up our game. –Gilmarie Brioso

Most Enthusiasm:Argentina, yay! USA, darn! Onward Quarterfinals!!” -Solstice22
Ed. Note—Check out Solstice22’s animated backstory!

Most Depth: “Most arguments like soccer scores: 0-0.” Jugggler

Most Vivid: “Beating drums for soccer fans worldwide.” -Buddbiker

Best Word-Play: “Son’s dad is a soccer mom.” -Steve__Anthony

Best Proposal: “Can I exchange words for goals?” -Thais Vitorelli (via Twitter)

Best Immediate Reaction: “Germany vs. Brazil. So bloody surreal.” -Amapola

Plus! This week’s SixContest #31 is going strong! You have one more week to complete the Hemingway challenge. Can you write a novel in Six Words? Share yours now through Friday, 7/18 (3pm ET).

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“Freedom comes with responsibility you see.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs Of The Week

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Americans celebrate the Fourth of July with fanfare, food, and coolers full of fun! It’s the day of freedom, picnics, fireworks and more. That’s why this week’s best memoirs honor our beloved Day of Independence. Our Sixers touched on the holiday’s meaning (“Freedom comes with responsibility you see.”), it’s festivities (“Getting sparklers ready for July spells.”), and the joy a day off can bring (“Spending 4th forgetting about my job.”). One thing is certain—the Six Words community commemorates together and we celebrate with words (six, of course). –Gilmarie Brioso

Most Ready-for-a-Break: “Spending 4th forgetting about my job.” -MsKillie

Hottest: “Summer fireworks singed door to heaven.” -CanadaGoose

Most Novel: “First Independence Day as an independent.” -AQScott

Most Whimsical: “Getting sparklers ready for July spells.” -Bevvie

Toughest Narrative Arc: “Freedom comes with responsibility you see.” -fairman

Most Thrilled: “Give me sparklers and overburdened lawn-chairs!” -G_Austin

Plus! There are exciting new posts up on our blog! Learn more about Chelsey Drysdale (ChewyD2), July’s Memoirist Of The Month. And check out how the kids at The Pearl Of The Concho Writing Project are using Six-Word Memoirs to become more confident writers!

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Top Six Messages in the Sky

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It was hard to take our eyes of the sky with all of the creative submissions for SixContest #30. Your entries were witty and sarcastic, but also sweet and endearing. Many of you took to time to write interesting backstories, giving life to those contrail Sixes. With hundreds of entries, it was difficult to choose just six. But here are the Top messages for the sky:

6. “Keep Calm… and write more sixes!” -enginethatcould

5. “His prose was fluffy and insubstantial” -Jim Gladstone (via Facebook)

4. “There is a 28 character limi” -@kmfallica (K. Fallica via Twitter)

3. “Answers won’t be found up here.” -notanoptimist

2. “I’d like to see other people.” -TeaTopper

And our top-rated Six-Word Skywriting is…

1. ”¿buıɥʇ sıɥʇ ʎןɟ noʎ op ʍoɥ” -@tomcole (Tom Cole via Twitter)

Congrats to @tomcole! And thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our Caption Contests, on FacebookTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Memoirist of the Month: July 2014—Chelsey Drysdale

I often tell friends and family about my Six-Word successes and sometimes I post them on Twitter and Facebook. It was especially exciting to get these messages in my Inbox: “Molly Ringwald has favorited your tweet,” and “Molly Ringwald has retweeted your tweet.”

P1020927Name: Chelsey Drysdale

Place: Long Beach, California

SMITH member since: February, 2013


Chelsey Drysdale has amassed a collection of nearly 1,000 Six-Word Memoirs since joining us in 2013. Posting as ChewyD2, her memoirs are playful quips about life (“I ran out of pixie dust.”) and love (“All my exes combined: perfect man.”) or lack thereof (“I have perfected ‘solo date night.’”). Her funny and insightful Six Worders reflect where she’s been (“Can’t dwell on past. Do anyway.”) and where she’s going (“Grappling with my greatest fear: success.”). Congratulations to Chelsey Drysdale as our Memoirist of the Month for July! She can mark this milestone with a fantastic T-shirt, including the Six Words of her choice, from our friends at Spreadshirt. Read more in our Six Questions about what makes Chelsey and her writing so dynamic.

1. When did you start writing and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I was born an English major, but first started writing creatively while working on my single subject teaching credential in the late ‘90s, and got serious about writing in 2007. I’ve taken wonderful online courses through UCI Extension and Gotham Writers’ Workshop. The turning point was an in-person course at UCLA; Shawna Kenney’s class propelled me forward, and I have since worked with her in numerous workshops. This year I published an essay in her anthology Book Lovers and have participated in five readings in Northern and Southern California. (We have another one in August in San Diego.)

Read More

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Classroom of the Month: The Pearl of the Concho Writing Project

Writing doesn’t always flow easily, especially for children who associate writing with assignments and grades. That’s why the Pearl of the Concho Writing Project in Texas is extremely important. Their ten-day Youth Writers’ Camp inspires creativity, free of academic pressure, and allows these third through fifth graders to grow as writers.  We’re thrilled to honor their 2014 Youth Writers’ Camp as our Six-Word Memoir’s Classroom of the Month!

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This year’s theme is “The Story of My Life.” Shanna Saverance and her colleague, Sandy, agreed Six-Word Memoirs was the perfect way to introduce campers to this theme and each other. “We cut some playing cards in half (literally) and dealt them to the students; they then had to find the person with the other half of their card,” Saverance explained. “Once the students found their partners, they had to interview each other—ask their partners’ name, who they live with, their hobbies and anything else they would like to share about themselves—and formulate a Six-Word Memoir about each other. Finally, students used the Six-Word Memoirs to introduce their new friends to the group.”

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The Six-Word fun didn’t stop there! Students searched for Six-Word Memoirs in their daily readings of Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan. Once shown an example (“They hunt frantically, stalking, pushing, grumbling.”), Shanna told us, “the students began to recognize and actively seek them on their own (“We’re dreamers, poets, philosophers, nap takers.”). Now that the students are familiar with the concept of Six-Word Memoir, they spontaneously write them about themselves, their friends, family members and fictional characters!”

“Busy pencils, racing across blank pages.”

“Good writers write lots of stories.”

“Books have pages, words, and chapters.”

“Jasmine loves to read a lot.”

“All writers write different, unique stories.”

“Dave Macey’s story is still unsolved.”

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The Youth Writers’ Camp encourages students to become more confident writers. We hope those young writers will continue to use the Six-Word form to express themselves and spark their creativity.

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“Remembering summers past. Enjoying summer’s presents.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs Of The Week

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June’s Solstice sparked a slew of summertime sixes. The Six-Word community loves this season, embracing its beauty (“Orange sunset introduces the longest day.”) and exploring its ability to transform (“At 57, finally enjoying summer camp.”). Summer is an enchanting time (“Summer put the soul in Solstice.”), when people are carefree and daring. They bask in the freedom warm weather brings. –Gilmarie Brioso

Most Vivid: “Orange sunset introduces the longest day.” -CanadaGoose

Best Metamorphosis: “She was popular until that summer.” -MissUnderstood

Best Spirit: “Summer put the soul in Solstice.” -DynamicDbytheC

Most Joy: “His summer employment: building sand castles.” -CanadaGoose

Most Fulfilled: “At 57, finally enjoying summer camp.” -Ms.Nan

Most Pensive: “Remembering summers past. Enjoying summer’s presents.” -l8leigh

Plus! There’s one more week left for SixContest #30! What would you write in the summer season’s clear, blue skies? Come up with your best skywriting message in Six Words.

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“Maybe She Wasn’t Crazy After All.” Six-Word Stories on Alzheimer’s

IMG_20140623_113132_609Saturday, June 21, marked the summer solstice. On that day thousands participated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s sunrise-to-sunset event called The Longest Day. Dementia is a disease that tests your endurance and that’s the point of The Longest Day. The idea is simple: honor those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and their caregivers, by showing your stamina in some type of day-long physical activity.

Last year, ten weeks pregnant, I walked along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This year, with my new baby girl, we joined members of the Young Advocates for the Alzheimer’s Association in Phoenix, who hosted a family-oriented shindig with food, games for the kids and yoga to raise money awareness about the disease. My mom, who is in the end stages of frontotemporal dementia, was there with friends and family.

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Selfie: Kathy Ritchie and her mom

I’ve been a part of SMITH Magazine since the beginning and a Sixer for years. I love Six-Word Memoirs because you don’t have to be a professional writer to tell your story. And everyone has a story. That’s why I wanted to use the six-word form to tell our story—the story of the caregivers, the children and the grandchildren of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or another dementia, like my mom. Here’s my Six-Word Memoir,  raw and to the point: “My mother is dying from dementia.”

As part of my Longest Day effort, I collected a handful of Six-Word Memoirs on this tough topic. Some also shared their own memoirs about life in general, including my friend Chris who lost his father to Alzheimer’s over a year ago: “Glad I got to know you.” Chris wasn’t at the event but his contribution says it all in six little words. Powerful stuff.  —Kathy Ritchie

 Six-Word Memoirs on Alzheimer’s from “The Longest Day”:

“Maybe she wasn’t crazy after all.”

“We need to cure this disease.”

“We’re here until Alzheimer’s is finished.”

“No one is untouched by Alzheimer’s.”

“You are nothing without your memories.”

“Your memory is not a guarantee.”

“Glad I got to know you.”

“Find the cure or lose yourself.”

“Hi grandma… It’s me, you’re granddaughter.”

“So we can forget the forgetting.”

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