Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Six-word Memoir

If you had to convey your entire existence in six words, what would you say? Here at, we've been thinking. Bolton condensed his whole life into: "Push rock, rolls back, push again." (We think he's being overdramatic.) Megan went with "Urban bumpkin seeks savings account, chickens." Yep, that's about right. And now we can't stop summing ourselves up.

The folks at SMITH magazine have been compiling tiny memoirs for a while now, first published in print as Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Contributors range from ordinary people who submitted their six words online to not-so-regular folks like Amy Sedaris ("Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched.") and Chuck Klosterman ("Nobody cared, then they did. Why?").

Now, they've followed up with Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: By Writers Famous and Obscure, being released just in time for the most polarizing of saint-based holidays. Some of our favorites include Elizabeth Minkel's "Silently suffered his facial hair experiments" and Jaynel Attolini's "Among your sexiest attributes: health insurance."

We couldn't help but get sucked into the spirit of Valentine's Day, and picked some titles for lovers and haters alike — guaranteed to cement your bliss, fuel your rage, or give you something to look forward to — like Armistead Maupin's six words: "He still needs me at sixty-four." Aww.

But, wait: now, it's your turn! We're going to give you a chance to get your little life story published in the next book in the seriesWe're going to give you a chance to get your little life story published in the next book in the series, "It Was Fun While It Lasted: And More Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure," scheduled for release this fall. Imagine the chagrin displayed on the faces of all those high school A-holes at your next class reunion when you walk in wearing a button that says, "Just published my memoir. No biggie."

Simply post a comment containing your six-word autobiography below — a general summation, not limited to love or heartbreak. (But really, is it ever about anything else? Sigh.) We'll pick 10 finalists, to be featured on our blog, and submit them to the HarperCollins panel of judges, who will choose the soon-to-be-published author.

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