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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Terms & Conditions

  • Each submitted entry must be an original work of which you are the sole author.
  • All entries must contain 6 words, no more, no less. Punctuation does not count as a word. Each word must be separated by a space. An eligible entry will have six words and space between each word.
  • No paper entries will be accepted, all entries must be submitted at www.shortwritingcontest.com
  • The decision of the judges is final. The judges may choose no winner if they find no entry that, in their estimation, merits publication and the award.
  • Each entry must be submitted in accordance with the eligibility requirements, format, guidelines, and entry requirements, or it will be disqualified.
  • No entry fees will be returned.
  • This competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • Winners will be announced on our website no later than 60 days after the competition deadline.
  • If a contestant wins, he/she may not enter the competition again for the next 12 months.
  • Six Word Entries must be uploaded to www. shortwritingcontest.com by the competition deadline. Late entries will be not be accepted.
  • All contestants must read and agree to contest Terms and Conditions.

What is Ineligible?

  • A Six Word Short Story that has previously won cannot be re-submitted.
  • Submissions from Lake Region Arts Council employees, LRAC Board members, and Six Word Short Story Judges are ineligible.
  • Entries in languages other than English.


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No entry fees will be returned.