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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Story in Just Six Words

Professor Thomas O’Grady Presenting the Winners of the 6 Word Story Contest

There’s a literary legend that Ernest Hemingway, while having dinner with fellow writers at the famous Algonquin round table in the luxury New York City hotel, bet he could write a story in just six words. They bet not. He grabbed a pen and a napkin and wrote, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” They paid up and Hemingway called it his best work.

This legend inspired UMass Boston’s MFA and Undergraduate Creative Writing Department to have their own six-word story contest with submissions accepted from early October until noon, Nov. 1. On Nov. 7, the judges announced the winners, as well as the 20 honorable mentions.

Thomas O’Grady, director of creative writing, opened the event. He described how the idea for the contest came about as an idea during a faculty meeting. They wanted to “tease the creativity of aspiring writers” at UMass Boston, and give then a chance to have their work read in front of an audience.

More than 60 people packed the Point Lounge for the event. Four judges from the creative writing department had to narrow 212 submissions down to 23.

Runners-up were Steeve Joazard, a senior English major, and Josh Weiss, a junior psychology major, both of whom won $50 gift cards for the UMass Boston bookstore.

Weiss’s entry was “Twelve boys entered, nine soldiers left.” Joazard’s was “Seeds don’t take in her garden.”

The top prize of a $100 gift card went to Sarah Hassan, a freshman in the nursing program, for her story, “American? But what are you really?”

The event took take place during advising week, anticipating that readings would encourage students to sign up for classes in creative writing. The department hopes to have an annual six-word story contest.

The 20 honorable mentions winners.

Jack Wong: Engagement ring, wedding ring, suffer ring.

Brandon: Wencek But I did what you asked.

Harika Diaz: White dress. New Neighbor. Empty church.

Rick Chason: Dear Love, He’s back I’m leaving.

Sulaimaan “Suli” Malik: Whoa Wait! You gave him peanut butter?

Kylie Bowen: No means no. Mind your manners.

Cardinal Belgrave: She mouths ‘love’ through broken glass.

Carly Schaaf: “Patricia, tell me.”, “It’s—it’s Patrick.”

Loray McDuffie: By the postbox awaiting you letters.

Bryan Kreusch: It heaved itself upright: wet plop.

Jeffery Pierre: First time I was told, “Welcome!”

Daniel Richardson: His machine worked, he could fly.

Peter Tran: Alright let’s both hang up then.

Thalia Blanco: “I have no regrets.” Famous lie.

Kerri Babbit: Officer, that is not my chinchilla.

Samantha Harrison: Two were married. One was loved.

Yasime Sahli: Sinking boat. Rock bottom. Lustrous pearls.

Christian Vialva: Wanted; Island living. Ocean not required.

Alexandra Costa: Sin City. Please let me in.