Six-Word Memoirs is a project founded by the U.S.-based online storytelling magazine Smith Magazine. Like that publication, Six-Word Memoirs seek to provide a platform for storytelling in all its forms.
Type of site
|Editors||Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser|
|Alexa rank||327,016 (August 2020[update])|
Smith was founded January 6, 2006, by Larry Smith and Tim Barko. Taking a cue from novelist Ernest Hemingway, who, according to literary legend, was once challenged to write a short story in only six words, Smith Magazine set out to do the same. The six-word story attributed to the famous author read: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
In November 2006, Smith's editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser gave the six-word story a personal twist, asking Smith readers to tell their life story in just six words. Smith readers submitted their six-words via www.smithmag.net, and Smith's Twitter account. In early 2007, Smith signed with Harper Perennial to create the Six-Word Memoir book series.
Six-Word Memoir booksEdit
The first in Smith's Six-Word Memoir book series, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure was released in early 2008.
As a romantic follow-up to Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure, Smith released Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak in early 2009. It contains hundreds of personal stories about romance. The editors of Smith asked dozens of writers "famous and obscure" to compose six-word memoirs.
Released September 1, 2009, I Can't Keep My Own Secrets—Six-Word Memoirs by Teens: Famous & Obscure, was the first Six-Word Memoir book devoted entirely to teenagers. Smith launched Smith Teens in June 2008. The book features famous and everyday teens from The United States and abroad.
- Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure was listed on Amazon's Best Books of 2008 list at number 69.
- In April 2009, The Denver Post listed Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: By Writers Famous and Obscure as the 5th bestselling non-fiction paperback  in the Denver area according to sales at the Tattered Cover Book Store, Barnes & Noble in Greenwood Village, the Boulder Book Store , and Border's Books in Lone Tree.
- Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure was listed as a New York Times bestseller  in 2008. It was grouped in the paperback section of the "advice, how to and miscellaneous section."
The Six-Word Memoir format has been used as a writing exercise for teachers, ranging from second-grade classrooms to graduate schools. HarperCollins created a teacher's guide to encourage the Six-Word Memoir form as a tool for teaching. Six-Word Memoirs have been employed as tools in hospital wards, appeared in a eulogy, and suggested as a form of prayer by a preacher in North Carolina. Six-Word Memoir videos from individuals ranging from teenager Micahsamaniac (a YouTube user) and bestselling author Daniel Handler have been posted to YouTube. 6 Words Minneapolis, a public art project, employed the form to build community and empathy among citizens living in the same large city.
- "Six-Word Memoirs site ranks". Alexa Internet. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
- Grindeland, Sherry. "Hey, Smiths: Your day has come," Seattle Times (January 6, 2005)
- "Literary Kicks". Literary Kicks.
- "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Paperback)". ISBN 0061374059.
- "Say It All in Six Words". The New Yorker.
- "Talk of the Nation and Smith Magazine". Amazon.
- Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak. Harper Collins. 2009-10-06. ISBN 9780061714627.
- "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure". Barnes & Noble.
- "I Can't Keep My Own Secrets". Harper Teen.
- "The Short, Happy Lives of Teachers". Education Week. July 9, 2008.
- Larry Smith (August 3, 2008). "Mrs. Nixon's Third-Graders' Six-Word Storybook".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Larry Smith (October 8, 2008). ""Fat man eats pie then farts"—Six-Words in Hospitals".
- https://web.archive.org/web/20110813042519/http://carebearc.livejournal.com/482014.html. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2009. Missing or empty
- Micah Gray (April 3, 2008). My Life in 6 Words. Youtube.com.
- SixWords (February 1, 2009). Daniel Handler reads Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak. Youtube.com.
- Emily Lloyd (April 23, 2013). 6 Words Minneapolis: a participatory public art project.