ETHOS

ETHOS

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Six Word Memiors

This has been a lesson in brevity. It, of course, begins with Hemingway. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The challenge is: can you tell a story in six words? This appeals to teenagers, folks. I’m not going to get all preachy about the YouTube Generation, partly because I find that sermon tiresome and mean-spirited, and that’s not what I’m about, y’all. As my dad would say, “Homey don’t play that.”


The appeal is obvious: six words. No more, no less. It is a clearly defined genre. The rules are black and white, so to speak. Yet there is an ill defined element. Can you say something, anything, worthwhile in six words? My students proved it’s possible. Try it with yours.

My resources include SMITH magazine (SMITHTeens especially).  As well as an NPR project. Also The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007, pp. 12-14.