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Six-Word Stories

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. Rumor has it that he considered his result ("For sale: baby shoes, never used.") to be his greatest work. In its most recent issue, Utne reprinted a piece from the Fall 2004 issue of BlackBook in which that magazine asked 25 big-name writers to write their own six-word stories. Unfortunately, neither magazine had the story online, but here are some of the highlights:

Irvine Welsh: "Eyeballed me, killed him. Slight exaggeration."

Robert Olen Butler: "Saigon hotel. Decades later. He weeps."

Norman Mailer: "Satan--Jehovah--fifteen rounds. A draw."

Tobias Wolff: "She gave. He took. He forgot."

David Lodge: "I saw. I conquered. Couldn't come."

Augusten Burroughs: "Oh, that? It's nothing. Not contagious."

I think I like Butler's and Mailer's the best. Here's my own offering:

Aging skier goes downhill. Literally, figuratively.

Please feel free to post your own in the comments section!

July 1, 2005 in Books, Fiction | Permalink


Huh. I thought it was a wedding dress that was for sale and never used. Interesting.

Posted by: Julie at Jul 2, 2005 8:42:21 AM

"Tried online casino. Homeless, hungry. Change?"

Posted by: Al at Jul 5, 2005 2:28:54 PM

"A man, a plan... ... Fuck this."

Posted by: tim at Jul 6, 2005 10:07:48 AM

Grab your ankles, you get fucked.

Posted by: C.F. Davis Bell at Aug 29, 2005 11:10:51 PM

"'Sup man?"
"Are you sure?"

Posted by: C.F. Davis Bell at Aug 29, 2005 11:13:09 PM

I feel nothing. I am blessed.

He took a chance. Nations rejoiced.

Her call echoed. The world shuddered.

Through his works he never died.

Hope springs eternal. Despair makes headlines.

Two newlyweds. No money. Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Furb at Oct 16, 2005 4:25:40 PM

dont post up bad words

Posted by: Bob at Nov 8, 2005 3:28:41 PM

Bob, does your mommy know you're on the Internet?

Posted by: speedwell at Oct 10, 2006 10:15:34 AM

Oppression, revolt, chaos, commonality, progress, oppression.

Posted by: speedwell at Oct 10, 2006 10:19:32 AM

She has a mistress. He knows.

(Whee, this is fun.)

Posted by: speedwell at Oct 10, 2006 10:22:42 AM