There’s a common saying that goes, “Let’s make a long story short”. Though being neat is a good thing, for some people it’s a big challenge because it takes your organization skills and language sensitivity. In literary history, there was a frontiersman who was good at this—Ernest Hemingway.
He’s a literary legend. While having dinner with his fellow writers and friends of the famous Algonquin Round Table in NYC, Ernest Hemingway made a bet that he could write a story in just six words. His friends didn’t believe it and bet that he couldn’t do it. Without saying further words, the old man grabbed a pen and a napkin and wrote:
For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Every writer went silent on the spot and, since then, the challenge of the “six-word story” has pranced through the history of writing. William Faulkner once said that, “I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.” What Faulkner tried to say is that making a long story short while keeping its vividness and imagery is challenging.
But, being challenging doesn’t mean it can’t be written. In fact, after Hemingway, there’re a lot of good pieces of six-word stories written by the other famous authors: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” by Margaret Atwood and “All those pages in the fire.” by Janet Burroway.
As a Bookstr fan, you can do it too! Though there’re a volcano of platforms that encourage you to submit your stories, here I would like to share a recent one that you should not miss.
Image Via armidale
“Six of the Best” is a second-year six-word story contest held by Armidale War Memorial Library, in Australia, in order to celebrate the comprehension of storytelling and mastery of brevity. Last year’s inaugural event had absorbed more than 350 submissions.
Armidale Library manager Ian Greenhalgh said that,
Everyone has an interesting story to tell and we hope many of them come to light for “Six of the Best.” Like many great games, the task of writing such a short story makes it both easy to get involved but also a great challenge to master. Each word must be carefully chosen to create a compelling tale.
Here’s some 2017 winning pieces, check them out:
- Her apology brought shame to everyone. Su Woodward
- He was a girl at school. Sooz Heinrich
- She was never considered a scientist. Lou Goggin
- Her last words were her first. Jess Cochrane
- “Hi.” She walked away, unnoticed, unharmed. Kate Andrews
- The peephole revealed an imaginary life. Kate Andrews
- That bag is ticking. Call Martin. William Bennett
- Sadly, no bridges left to burn. Ben Gooley
The deadline of submission will be on September 28th and winners will be announced on October 15th. For more detail info, please go to their website here!
Ok, I am ready, are you?
Featured Image Via Signature Reads; seasoned by GT ㋡