Six Word Short Story

This is one of the most powerful pieces of writing I have ever read. And it is only six words! Apparently, Ernest Hemingway and his friends were at a bar, drinking one night. Hemingway, as great of a writer he was (and drunk at that moment), made a bet with his friends. He told them that he could write an entire story in only six words. They laughed at him and told him that it wasn’t possible, but they accepted the bet anyway (probably because they wanted the money). So Hemingway gets a piece of paper, writes down six words, and shows his friends this:

β€œFor sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

His friends were shocked, and I am pretty sure it was hard not to cry. So Hemingway (I assume) won the bet.

The reason why this is so powerful is because you can read it and imagine an entire backstory in your head. You don’t know exactly what happened, but you can probably make up an idea. Now, I challenge YOU to write your own six word short story. It can be anything. Below is my own “story.”

“The people screamed. Everyone ran away.”

Good luck!


6 thoughts on “Six Word Short Story

  1. Hemmingway’s attempt is particularly good, not only for its economy of ideas (a must for short pieces) but also because he chooses a suitable framework for a 6 word piece – a home-made advert. Learning from him, here is my attempt:
    “Here lies God. Man must follow.”

    • I agree. Although I haven’t looked at much of his work, I’ve heard a lot about him… And great short story! I’ve got lots of theories on its background.

  2. Just one aspect of EH’s genius that he could convey something complex in a few words. There are other examples such as ‘Knock’ and ‘Dinosaur’. Apologies cannot recall the authors but they’re easily found on Google. Enjoy the site btw πŸ™‚

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