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Library Fun...Six Word Memoirs

Last week in the library, we had fun with ‘six word memoirs’, which have popularly been attributed to Hemingway.

Hemingway, as you know is known for his terse writing style. His short sentences, sparse descriptions and limited use of adjectives, made his writing stand out amongst the more flowery writing styles of the 20th century.

(Urban) legend tells us that Hemingway was once challenged to write an impossibly short story—a narrative in six words.

His answer?

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

A memoir, being quite simply a personal account of a person’s life, we established 2 rules.

1. The memoir could be only six words, not less, not more.

2. It had to hold some meaning to the person writing it, even if it did not make sense to anybody else.

Essentially, it was a very personal sharing and in the spirit of respecting this, the memoirs were kept anonymous.

While some of the children knew exactly what they were going to write, others found it challenging to condense their thoughts into just 6 words.

I was surprised at times with their sharing. Some were deeply philosophical, others raw and honest, some simple statements and a few nonsensical…however, they were encouraged to share whatever held meaning to them.

These were mine:

As Myth Aunty, library educator…

“Books are.”

Me at home:

“Did I lock the door yet?”

Just me:

“Need time and money to travel.”


Go on give it a shot…what would your six word memoir be?

Share in the comments!!


A few of my students memoirs:

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