Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday Salon: 6 word memoirs

My 9 year old daughter came home a couple weeks ago all excited by an activity she was doing in school: 6 word memoirs. She told me all about the ones she had written and even ones that some of her classmates had written! She ended the conversation with "Mama, you should do a 6 word memoir contest in your library." So, I did. My daughter even came up with the contest name:

Your life. In just six words
(please note, that's a 6-word contest name)

I contacted her teacher to let her know I was stealing her idea and it turns out it was a Smith magazine (and Twitter?) competition about two years ago! Then, I found the book (Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure Writers) with the entrants so I bought it for my library to display during the competition. Totally cool.

I advertised it to students and staff and we ended up with a fantastic response! In fact, we had a staff competition (voted on by all staff via Google forms in our email) and a student competition (judged by 5 staff members at the school). Some staff members even wrote their emails that week in 6-word messages!

I was really impressed with the student submissions. Though many of the hundreds just listed 6 words that described themselves, about 30 created phrases or sentences. Here are our winners:

First Place: Lost without a book in hand
Second Place: I'm not weird, I'm just different
Third Place (a tie): I'm 2 complex 4 6 words and Everything is not as it seems


I wrote a couple myself:

  • Seeing life from behind the lens
  • Dance in the shadows of life

What would your 6-word memoir be?

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