Created in 2006, SMITH Magazine is an online home for storytelling.   In 2008, their publication of the book Not Quite What I Planned, a collection of six-word memoirs by writers famous and obscure, spent six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Since then, writer Dave Eggers referred to the book as essential memoir reading in a workshop he was teaching about writing memoirs.

The book (and several published since) are the result of a challenge SMITH issued to its readers to tell their story in a six-word memoir.  Here are six samples…

  • One that might resonate with our field hockey team: “Hockey is not just for boys.”
  • Poignant: “I still make coffee for two.”
  • From a grade-conscious student: “Still afraid of a B-plus.”
  • From Dr. Jane Goodall: “Forest peace, sharing vision, always optimistic.”
  • From Deepak Chopra: “Danced in Fields of Infinite Possiblities.”
  • For Frost fans: “Still lost on road less traveled.”

If you’re 18 or older, you can enter SMITH Magazine’s current six-word challenge (in collaboration with PBS FRONTLINE’s Digital Nation).  There are only TEN days before the deadline!

The challenge?  In six words, express how the web and digital technology are changing how you think, work, live, or love. Deadline: October 15, 2009 (next Thursday).  A recent related post on the SMITH Teen page, “Googled what he called me.  Ouch!”  From the SMITH home page, “I wikipedia’d myself.  They denied entry.”

The MW Library is also issuing its own SMITH-inspired succinct memoir challenge.  From Tuesday, October 13, 2009 through Friday, November 13, 2009, submit a sentence that captures your story about being you at MLWGS or that expresses something unique about MLWGS.  Watch for more contest details next week, including the chance to win prizes and be published in a book by MLWGS students.