Reid-Thompson Public Library seeking six-word stories

HUMBOLDT — Humboldt’s Reid-Thompson Public Library is seeking six-word story submissions for a new competition which will have community members write miniature stories for display at the location.

Kate Lucyshyn, Humboldt’s branch librarian said they wanted something to perk people’s interest.

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“We’re trying to get more people stopping in at the library and it’s something different we can do,” Lucyshyn said. “They’re actually pretty common, apparently, in the States.”

The guidelines dictate all submitted works must be appropriate for all ages, must be an original work, limit two stories per contestant, and limit of one contraction per story (isn’t, wasn’t, there’s, etc).

Lucyshyn said the six-word story should provide a movement of conflict, action and resolution that gives the sense of a complete story transpiring in a moment’s reading.

All stories can be submitted in-person, or by email to: It can be done anonymously or with a full name, age (if under 18), and a contact phone number or email address.

Each story will be posted anonymously on the wall without names.

“Can you actually write a story in six words? Isn’t it amazing, you think about it and there are authors who have done it,” Lucyshyn said. “It’s kind of a little bit of a challenge to get your point across in six words.”

One famous example of a six-word story is, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

The melancholy piece of literacy is typically attributed to Ernest Hemingway, although the earliest record dates back to 1991 in a novel where the writer Peter Miller, attributed it to an unnamed journalistic piece discussing Hemingway.

American writer Dave Eggers is attributed for writing another, which was, “Found true love. Married someone else.”

The competition at the library will run until May 15 and will be judged by two volunteer board members.

Lucyshyn said she has personal plans to submit a piece, but isn’t sure what exactly it will be yet.

“I had something in my mind, something about digging for worms and going fishing, but I can’t quite figure out the words yet.”

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