Classroom of the Month: Adriana Hernandez’ 7th Grade Language Arts Class at Albright Middle School in Houston

Houston, Texas-based teacher Adriana Hernandez first heard about Six-Word Memoirs through a coworker at Albright Middle School who had bought a Six-Word Memoirs book after hearing an interview on NPRMiss Hernandez found the book extremely interesting: “It stuck in my mind over the last few years; I thought I’d introduce it to my kids.”

Make good things from bad situations

Miss Hernandez began this school year by having her seventh grade Language Arts class write personal narratives. She discussed doing a Twitter-style narrative — limiting them to 140 characters — which would be “more interactive, something that they’re familiar with, like using social media.” Some students, however, struggled with the concept of what makes a character, and had trouble narrowing down their narrative to 140 words. “In some ways, social media stilts their writing,” says Hernandez, “they don’t have to go into detail. But there’s something kind of cool about having that short neat piece.”

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“The Best Advice in Six Words” on Tour: Greenlight Books

IMG_1557It was standing room only on a brisk November evening at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn as fans of Six-Word Memoirs gathered to celebrate the release of The Best Advice in Six Words. Laughter dominated the night as local Advice contributors famous and “obscure” shared their Six Words of wisdom with the bustling crowd. But the heartfelt moments proved the most memorable as a handful of contributors shared the stories behind their advice.

IMG_1578Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling (page 100) warmly surprised the group as she revealed how her advice —“Right now you’re okay, I promise.“ — has carried her through some of life’s tougher moments. And no backstory was needed as author Piper Kerman (page 100), the woman who inspired Schilling’s character, shared her six words of advice: “You learn more from your failures.”

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Best NaNoWriMo Advice in Six Words


With NaNoWriMo well underway, many writers are making strides toward that 50,000-word goal by the end of November. For SixContest #64, we partnered with and challenged fellow scribes to share their Best Writing Advice in Six Words. From narrative development (“Build your characters. The story follows.” G_Austin) to hitting the ground running (“Write garbage. Then, take it out.”ctgoods2), these sixes can compel anyone to complete the first draft of their future masterpiece. We received so much incredible writing advice, #NaNoSix even trended on Twitter throughout the day on October 29. We wish we could feature it all, but this podium is only big enough for six:

6. “It’s only 8333 memoirs. Totally doable.” —treehugger

5. “Give yourself permission to say it.” —@ThisBarbara (via Twitter)

4. “Bad writing makes good, rich fertilizer.” —lillybook

3. “The first draft is for YOU.” —@kate_sparkes (via Twitter)

2. “Break your novel into three acts.” —@ShoshannaEvers (via Twitter)

And the top #NaNoSix writing advice entry…

1. “Write like a hurricane. Edit later.” —@ggcarroll (via Twitter)

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

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The Best Advice in Six Words on Tour & Press

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PHILADELPHIA, November 10, 2015. 6pm: Main Line School Night Academy (wine & cheese reception at 5pm). Join us on Philly’s Main Line for Larry Smith’s presentation about the contours of creativity, ending with an audience “Six-Word Slam.”

NEW YORK CITY, November 11, 2015. 7:30pm: Greenlight Books (686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, New York). Join local contributors, including Piper Kerman, A.J. Jacobs, Joel Garland, and Emily Spivack, as they share their Six-Word Advice and brief backstories. The event ends with an audience “Six-Word Slam.”

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Memoirist of the Month—November 2015: Rebecca H.

“SMITH is the perfect playground for this introvert who harbors an inner extrovert. … I can’t get enough of the brilliance and beauty of this international community of memoirists.”

Name: Rebecca H.
Place: Southeastern Wisconsin
SMITH Member Since: November 2011

Rebecca and DavidOne of the first things you discover when reading Rebecca’s Six-Word Memoirs, nearly 800 of them, is that she’s Jewish — which she writes about with pride and humor (“Some days shlemiel, some days shlimazel”). Known on Six Words as enginethatcould, Rebecca H. describes herself as reclusive (“No offense, I’m uncomfortable around everyone”).

Still, that reserved spirit isn’t apparent on our site. Instead, she is open and connects with people throughout the Six Words community. Rebecca’s journey from breast cancer survivor to triathlete, beautifully chronicled in her memoirs and backstories, has earned her accolades from near and far. “Finish line was my start line” perfectly captures her tenacity and zest for life.

November is a banner month for Rebecca. Not only are many family birthdays celebrated on the eleventh month of each year, but it’s her fourth anniversary on Six Words and, most importantly, it marks her fourth year of being cancer free. Join us in congratulating Rebecca as our Memoirist of the Month for November 2015 and on being featured in our latest book, The Best Advice in Six Words. Read more about Rebecca’s richly complex life as she answers our Six Questions:

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Top Six Memoirs Filled with Sarcasm


Inconceivably, people actually enjoyed this contest. For SixContest #63 we saluted Sarcasm Awareness Month by challenging you to spin your snarkiness in just six words. Some entries were about the contest itself (Winning sarcasm contests changed my life” –BanjoDan), while others got personal (“Oh yeah, college is going great.” –Savita). What makes these Sixes so appealing is the line they tread between jokes and slams. –Michael Steigman

6. “I guess my invite got lost.” –Amanda S. (via Facebook)

5. “Your political posts will change minds.” –@ABCDSherman (via Twitter)

4. “I write for the intellectual reward.” –ardentwanderer

3. “Don’t trip over those low standards.” –Susan_Breeden

2. “Thanks for pointing out my imperfections.” –maryjane31

And the finest sarcastic delivery in Six:

1. “Best way to save relationship? Baby.” –MsKillie

Congratulations, MsKillie! And thanks to all who joined in the fun! Really. Whether in our SixContests, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or at–keep on Sixing!

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Six Words That Make Us Smile


With Mercury in retrograde through October 9, many of us needed to dig deep for a few smiles. Fortunately, World Smile Day arrived on October 2, and the Six Words community brought its A-game to SixContest #62: Six Words That Make You Smile. Personal achievements (After I finish writing a story.Neesha101) and unexpected gifts from Mother Nature (School closed due to bad weather.enginethatcould) all provide opportunities for a toothy grin, but these top six entries would make even the biggest Grinch crack a smile:

6. Cat purring. Dog snoring. My family. —Susan F. (via Facebook)
5. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Paris. —@lisaweldon (via Twitter)
4. “My mother can’t make it, honey.” —VincentAurelius
3. Son said: “you did good, Mom.” —UUBikerChick
2. Straight up or on the rocks? —@mydustbunnies (via Twitter)

And proof that the little things make us smile the most: 

1. The dryer gave me both socks. —thepoet1

Congratulations to thepoet1, and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at—keep on Sixing!

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Six Words of Advice—Contributors’ Toolkit

best advice in 6 wordsThank you for contributing to the latest book in the Six-Word series, The Best Advice in Six Words. We’d like to build as much buzz as possible, both before and after November 3 when the book becomes available in stores and online.

If you haven’t already, register at — all you need to sign up is your email or a social media account. Details below on how to receive your contributor’s copy of the book!

You can help spread the word!

1. Go social
Follow Six-Word Memoirs on social media — post your own Six-Word Advice and encourage your friends to share their own (and buy the book, of course).
Facebook: @sixwordmemoirs
Twitter: @sixwords
Instagram: @sixwordselfie (take a shot of yourself holding up your Six-Word Advice or the book itself)

Sample Posts to Make it Easy:
Please include image of book jacket (download it here):

“A perfect book for holiday gifts” — #bestadvicein6words available for pre-order
“Take my advice: buy this book” —#bestadvicein6words is in stores and ready to ship!

“A book to own and gift” —#bestadvicein6words is in stores and ready to ship!

My #sixwordadvice is published in the latest @sixwords book—get your copy now!

2. Share the News with your Contacts:
Have an big email list that is waiting to hear from you? Let them know about The Best Advice in Six Words: where to buy it (see below).

3. Alert the Media!
Being published is a big deal — especially alongside legendary contributors including Madeleine Albright, Julianne Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth Gilbert, Maria Shriver, Mario Batali, and many more! Let your local radio station (NPR stations are especially big fans of our books), newspaper, website or blog know about your achievement.

4. Organize a Book Reading
We’re be having a few “official readings” in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco, and Los Angeles — check out the book tour schedule—but there’s no reason why you can’t organize your own Six-Word Advice reading. Contact your local bookstore or coffeeshop or organize one in your home, or anywhere where people enjoy getting together. Check out what Six-Word Memoirist Beth Carter organized at her local book store.

5. Give the Gift of Six Words
All contributors are eligible for a free copy of The Best Advice in Six Words. Buy more and stock up now for the holidays! Spark conversation around the Thanksgiving table and share Advice as stocking stuffers, Secret Santas, sixth night of Hanukkah gifts, or Kwanzaa celebrations. Advice is an affordable, compact gift that travels well — a thoughtful “thank you” or host gift that will be remembered and enjoyed long after the consumables are gone. Looking for a winter graduation present or a unique keepsake for new parents? We’ve got you covered. Our Best Advice: gift this book!

6. Where to find The Best Advice in Six Words:
• Amazon:
• B&N:
• Indiebound:
• Books-a-Million:
• iBooks:

7. More useful stuff
Download the cover of the book.
Download the press release.

If you haven’t received our mailing address request form to receive your complimentary copy (sent via MailChimp), please drop us a note so we can get your address to St. Martin’s Press. With 1,000 memoirs, we are unable to confirm which submissions are included in the book, but soon you can peruse the pages and find out for yourself.

Thanks for sharing this exciting news. Let us know how we can help you spread the word about the book you helped make!

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Memoirist of the Month: October 2015—Neil Slevin

“I visit Six Words almost daily, commenting and favoriting as I go. I like to trawl through each and every six since my last visit. I used to just focus on my own writing, but I’ve really bought in to the idea that Six Words is a community in which we feed each other’s writing and our inspiration for it. ”

Name: Neil SlevinNeilSlevin (1)
Place: County Leitrim, Ireland
SMITH Member Since: August 2013

Coming to us from the writer’s paradise of Ireland, the man who debuted on Six Words as ElvisLinen has since shed that playful anagram to reveal himself, in name and in words, as NeilSlevin. A poet at heart (“Words rise when I am sleeping…”), Neil has a way of channeling tributaries of emotions into waterways of words (“Two boys, crying into their writing”). Our congrats to Neil Slevin as our Memoirist of the Month for October 2015. In just two years he has posted more than 700 memoirs and we suspect this is just the beginning. Read more about Neil’s writing endeavors as he answers our Six Questions:

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