History of the Six Word Short Story: Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a complete story in six words. Here is what he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” Some people say it was written to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors. But it proves that it is possible to create a short story with just six words.

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Past Winners

Contest #2, February-April 2014

Imaginative writers from all over the world took up LRAC's challenge to create a story in just six words. All entries in the Six Word Short Story Contest were judged by a panel of judges on the criteria of Creativity, Cleverness and Imagery. The judges, Linda Lein and Yahya Frederickson are published and experienced writers themselves. After extensive review the judges chose the following entries:

The Grand Prize Winner

Debra Gilchrist, Milaca, MN

"Seeking Birth Father to be Pallbearer."

Debra receives $500 grand prize, publication on www.shortwritingcontest.com websites, publicity in press releases, and a press release sent to the winner's choice of newspaper.

The Second Place Prize

Heather Anderson, Nashua, NH

"Spare change? Three dollars! Veteran eats. "

John receives publication on www.shortwritingcontest.com websites, publicity in press releases, and a press release sent to the winner's choice of newspaper.

The winning Six Word Short Stories will be showcased online at www.shortwritingcontest.com. All the latest news about the next Six Word Short Story contest and items of interest to the Short Writing Community can be seen www.facebook.com/ShortWritingContest. For additional information about The Lake Region Arts Council, please visit www.LRAC4.org.

All the Entries

He dreamed vividly, but lived vaguely.

Her countenance keenly punctured shrouded intentions.

Time sedated his savagely expiditious curiosity.

I won the lottery! Don't call!

My suitcase fell. Railroad tracks. Goodbye.

You Weep so you must know.

The wind caressed to say hello.

A simple kiss she fell apart.

Soon the bubbles stopped coming up.

I sobbed as she lay still.

He missed her beautiful, loving smile.

Pencil poised. Blank Paper. Writer's block.

Stop sign. Car stalls. Irritated drivers.

Bruises and tears. Abused. Escape. Survivor.

God above; knows all, says nothing.

Writers are recluses because people distract!

When my mind silences, death ensues.

Then she said, "I killed her."

Loyal to the end, they winked.

Road weary, she dropped her skirt.

Started juicing yesterday; system cleansed, starving!!!

Ordered clothes, none fit, tax deduction.

I never tried shellfish; delicious, allergic.

Bathroom lunch- the new girl's brunch.

“Master’s coming. Act casual.” Drops shoe.

Proud swagger. Missed step. Confidence lowered.

Not your baby. Do the math.

Divorced. Remarried. Happily ever after. Finally.

Burned and abused. Scarred for life.

Went for drinks. Came back single.

Like shards of glass, broken dreams.

Help wanted: Low pay, Warm feeling.

Dog Day Cicadas croon ancient songs.

Muddy Gleeful Boys Puddle Stomp Contest.

"Trick or treat": children gathering booty.

Marines on stoop. Hard to answer.

Tonight I’m leaving you for California.

Come. I’m better than your husband.

Manuscript submitted. Manuscript rejected. Seeking chocolate.

Maybe another beating, or Christmas alone?

Done with the bullying, he aimed.

Short lifeline. Won the lottery. Figures.

Hollywood:A multitude of mediocre millionaires.

New preacher needed, must love snakes.

My heart rarely beats here, now.

"Knock, knock" fizzled with, "Come in!"

Mary's evil twin had lamb stew.

Texting crashed while anticipating conversation expired.

Love letter sealed. Kisses sent home.

The aliens landed, and i fixed.

Her Russian was flawless, she gambled

Why me? Oh, Lord! He shot...

Two hearts in one: mother, son

Night owl plus early toddler; tired

Full moon; newly fallen snow, illuminated.

The words "The End" completed it.

I won the six word contest.

She said the words; I do.

Elephants whisper, insects, roar, African night

They lay on the rug, writhing.

She hid it in the nest.

They never stopped see the teenager.

Seeking Birth Father to be Pallbearer.

Her ring doesn't hide her scars.

His testimony slowly devoured my future.

Her cut wrists left bloody joy.

Microscopic blood stain with no name.

He forced seed down her throat.

Come, see, conquer, you fucking autocrat.

Death's an acquired taste, my dear.

Not the temple, in the mouth!

Steak stuck gasping, the hemlock failed.

Hair, scissors, life, all cut short.

Goose bumps, braille, fear, stories told.

Wash day hope for no rain

exhausted, no breath but I won

Twilight falls day ends peaceful rest

Long story short, I didn't die.

All things considered, she liked him.

Accidental hyphenation attributed to grammatical error.

He ate the Fukushima fish, glowed.

She won the lottery, bad check.

You are mine, barring the stars.

I entered. You weren't there. Again.

I fell out of their storyline.

We swam across rivers. And lived.

Ex-Boyfriends Unauthorized Biography: What a Douche

Occult member begs Peter, "Open Gate."

His hospital bills warmed her bed.

He knew she mattered. She didn’t.

Eyes locked. Loins cocked. “Aaaand ACTION!”

From nothing… something… evolving… into you.

Teen found hanging from ceiling fan.

Child last seen walking along highway.

River view cemetery plot for sale.

Father ate his dead child's rabbit.

I am the weather. Today: rain.

Controls pressed. Cheetos eaten. He dies.

The Better Than Sex Cake was.

Oh well. It's only a breast.

Epitaph: These Are The Good Mushrooms

March. Snow shovel banished... too soon.

Born again. Mom's religion. Not mine.

Beach. Book. All alone. Sheer nirvana.

Test strip, ultra sound, baby boy!

Job gone, rent due, park bench.

Seed pack, potting soil, summer blooms!

Gardened; got poison ivy. Hired professionals.

Facebook fear: no friends, no likes.

My parents, your parents. Let's elope!

Moving away did not cure him.

Nurses always make Old Tim smile.

He was different after the war.

He died; the world moved on.

He gave up cynicism for Lent.

Coffee: black. Eggs: scrambled. You: absent.

Free airfare on one way tickets.

His rage, imprinted on her body.

Fight or flight? Let gravity decide.

Miss Universe seeks boyfriend. Preference: Earthling.

New A.I. develops consciousness. Demands antidepressants.

Born with lock pick. Stole lives.

Eyes judged as she kissed her.

Her spirit screamed for redemption pointlessly.

He saw nothing she wouldn’t show.

He mistakenly texted her twin sister.

Foodies came; sent back the toast.

Starbucks was all we agreed upon.

My boy loves his blind dragon.

'Look!' Another Earth filled the sky.

Scored thirty points, and he's autistic!

Winter won't stop spring from coming.

Art Balances Cash Deposited Every Friday.

The lipstick gave her needed confidence.

Strangers hugging hands. Plane goes down.

"Cuddle with me," my daughter says.

I love you. End of story.

For sale: one heart. Needs repair.

Battered. Bruised. Still alive and kicking.

Find. Add. Stalk. Liked. Messaged. Blocked.

She's pregnant? Drink up! Goodbye, mother.

Spare change? Three dollars! Veteran eats.

"6 words?!" Wonders: Do numbers count?

Crayon, pencil, cursive; diary, dissertation, memoir.

Parents intermarried; Christmas tree had bagels.

Hopes dashed: new girlfriend disses Jews.

She had extra super mommy powers.

Mommy's toe snails were very magical.

Mom's magic took my fears away.

She's here with a stranger's heart.

While sleepwalking she made the bed.

Inside me is a stranger's heart.

Knife wielder beats odds, wins gunfight.

Elfin magic produces cookies, no milk.

Flatulent king benighted by ignoble gases.

Early bird. Nervous worm. Ecstatic cat.

Judge: 'You are acquitted'. Accused: 'Suckers!'

Police find butcher's wife, in bits.

Today, I bought my own Valentine.

Hindsight made me a past genius.

Juror's verdict: Slayer prevailed, victim inhumane.

Plain envelope, white powder: no return.

Rumpled sheets, yesterday's espresso, single shot.

Six beers, ran light. Status: widowmaker.

Outside: perfect family. Inside: angry words.

She fell, only to find wings.

Maiden kidnapped. Dragon teaches her courage.

Drank my inheritance. Yours, too. Sorry.

You play, you pay. Still paying.

Tennis Anyone? Love. Then she served.

Dishwasher for sale; comes fully furnished.

The bike was mangled beyond recognition.

Small talk kills softly. Prefer nuclear.

Pushing the envelope sealed my fate.

Wheelbarrow overturned. Summer squash, avocado dip.

Underpants on floor tell whole story.

Visit Dentist. Extracted the wrong tooth.

The Eskimo matador's undoing? Red mukluks.

Warning, cowboys: damsel "in distress" ain't.

Boy and dog, ignoring the inevitable.

White or ivory? She couldn't decide.

The test was positive. Now what?

Who says so? Just watch me!

"Quick study: long lines, short delivery.

Starving writer, must write, shortest story.

Divine intervention, coming soon, stay tuned.

I came, you didn't, sorry; again!

Memories roared in her minds silence.

Unyielding stillness, crimson snow, recollections nevermore.

Wrote sober, edited drunk, never published.

Confused, thirsty natives watched golfcourse sprinklers.

She swore blind, he walked free.

The blind man dreamt in color.

At the alter, unclaimed baggage remained.

Smartphone does everything, no boyfriend required.

I hear you now, and later.

The denouement: you never really know.

Writer can't write: endless tunnel ahead.

They buried it and never told.

Night fell; they disappeared in darkness

She was right. He was right.

"Bluffing." Sweat dripped. The football waited.

Awkward moaning. "No, sir, dot com!"

"A boy or a girl?" "Neither."

Housework's done. Can she create now?

Needle in arm. Buzzkill poet assassin.

Love reduces risk of heart disease.

Calm, wise, greying, no Viagra husband

Phi Beta Kappa, pharmacist and author

Big-eyed, grinning, sassy Brussels griffon puppy

Wife-beater's graveside: nobody cried, wife smiled.

Married lover's son, interesting ever after.

Horrified, thirsty natives watched golfcourse sprinklers.

I don't speak love, I guess.

Unfriend, unfollow, ungram, unblog, unsee, unknow.

Baby walked, baby biked, baby drives.

Menopausal sagging skin misses that period

Life: Time spent between diaper changes

She's with him? Must have money.

Got out early, Ma. Good behavior.

Nonetheless, he never slept more soundly.

The robin cursed the snow loudly.

In quiet, you can hear pain.

I take a handful of home.

Wanted: strong back, shovel, questionable morals

Job posting: "Lion tamer- be quicker"

Roommate needed: likes heights, vines, monkeys

After therapy he avoided addictions, compulsively.

Spouse beater lent her husband make-up.

Youth raced, my dotage now crawls.

The tear meant nothing, only regret.

His failure fed into curious inspiration.

Overwhelmed, her despair ended rational thought.

I warned her there were sharks.

Father said it's a fee country.

There are tornadoes in the belfry.

I quoted Shakespeare from the ditch.

Blueberry stained tongue, no fingerprints needed.

Crumbs found under covers, marriage annulled.

Criminal freed. Verdict: Seasonal Effective Disorder.

Wild waves wash winter's ice westward.

Icy rain. Icy stare. Icy heart.

Reconciled and forgiven. Home at last.

"I do," she said, fingers crossed.

He mailed the letter anonymous, ashamed.

Poisoned drink. Served it with kisses.

One visit sparked a new life.

The relationship landed in uncharted territory.

Winning money made them notice me.

Wind whipping, child crying, boat sank.

Tassels airborne, tissues clutched, taps played.

Thunder claps, sirens sound, destruction everywhere.

Lost: Teen girl. Was wearing: Unknown.

He wanted children. I wanted cocaine.

She left, quietly. He didn’t notice.

Laughter erupted and all was well.

Never worn, her wedding dress burned.

The voice boomed; time had begun.

Wanted: unattached vampire, bloodsucking cutthroat preferred.

Chakras are stuck. I'm kinda blue.

Wanted: cure for what ales me.

Alzheimer’s: “Who’re you?” my mother asked.

Legless after Iraq; wife skipped town.

Hostiles retreating; victorious pursuit assured, Custer

She cried the stars, once again.

And in that moment, it ended.

As she walked, the sky wept.

Executed clown's last words, "Love STINKS!"

Eternal hatred. Last stand. No victor.

First prom lovely despite leg brace.

Nun's habit discarded on Vatican steps.

Geisha grandmother, CEO granddaughter, same skills.

Divorce final: arson trial still pending.

Night terror crouched on her chest.

My mouth, it parts, however useless.

The evening fireflies dance at war.

Solo traveler gets lost in India.

Pure sweetness without the sting, honey.

Life lesson: explore world beyond home.

Picking cotton, thinking about The Ritz.

Short hello, passionate romance, long goodbye.

He was born without a home.

Dirt road: wide open, less traveled

On a whim, story was told

She died beneath the willow weeping.

She died choking on her lies.

With his death, she came alive.

Stalker, stalkee seeks same; equal roles

For sale: engagement ring, slightly worn

Golden boy seeks wife, trophy polisher

Divine love. Supreme sacrifice. Saving Grace.

Spurned housewives stampede astigmatic TSA agent.

Corpulent Mojave tortoise mourns whale skeleton.

You don't see I can't hear.

Retreating into silence, my head rings.

Falling leaves leaves two. Me, you.

Walking away, she ignored his retort.

Eventually, she opened the church door.

Vacant past and future, she jumped.

All she had was his corpse.

Sign reads: will work for shoes.

Kids, please put down your weapons.

I died once, only to live.

Ever denizens of their superfluous delusions.

Reality is a burnt out metaphor.

"It'll be fine", famous last words.

How'd that Llama get so big?

Miraculously we made it here alive.