Compelling Story; Six Words; One Challenge!

A year ago Talbot’s put out a contest: Based on Hemingway’s 6-word story, write a six word story about your favorite pair of jeans, win the prize and you get an all-expense paid trip for 4 to beautiful Paris, the city of lights.

For those who are not familiar with the original story, one day as Ernest Hemingway was with his friends he made the statement that he could write a story in 6-words. Skeptical at best, they challenged him with his words and he came up with this story:

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. He is reported to have said that this was his best work.

Talbot’s cleverly used this challenge in a marketing campaign ensuring that they would be the chief winners as we all inadvertently signed up for Talbot’s emails. Certain that we had a good chance to win the challenge,  my sister-in-law Carol, niece Sarah and I got to work. We creatively put together words to form stories, picturing ourselves eating croissants and drinking cafe au lait on the Champs Elysees. If ever there was a proverbial counting of our eggs before we had purchased a chicken, this was it- but oh how fun were the dreams! The results:

Title: Laundry Tears: New dryer, jeans shrunk, I didn’t!~Carol

Title: Salvation Army: Poor student, designer jeans, one dollar!~Sarah

Title: Engagement Trip: Chicago-Cairo, lost luggage, no jeans!~ Marilyn

We didn’t win, but the creativity, fun and bonding through the process was almost as good as a trip to Paris (almost being the operative word). The exercise led to creating a family game based on the same idea.

Also inspired by Hemingway,the NY Times put out two challenges.  On Valentine’s Day the contest was to write a  Six-Word Love Story, while Mother’s Day challenged readers to share  “six-words about your mom.”

So readers – Many of you  have amazing travel stories to tell. Stories of luggage lost and love gained, of harrowing rides through mountain passes and dinners with sheikh’s.  Thinking about all those experiences that make up your lives – here’s the challenge: Write a six-word story about a trip you took, either international or domestic. It can be a drama, comedy, or romance. Leave your story in the comments section for others to enjoy. The prize? Who could know?  But be assured – there will be one!

Related Challenges:

19 thoughts on “Compelling Story; Six Words; One Challenge!

  1. Title: Conference Tiring
    Providence-Philly, Overnight train, Hollering huckster
    Title: Wedding Gift
    Gotham, New Year’s Eve, Large Lamp


  2. Title-My Honeymoon: Sick. Banned from Motel. Heimlich Maneuver.
    Title-Missions Trip- Wales.Leak.Twisted ankle.Sick.Experience.

    Yea….I’m not so good at the 6 word thing!


  3. Escaped to paradise, can’t get home.
    Born England, grown Pakistan, home Australia.
    Desperately seeking: job requiring extensive travel.
    Desperate housewife: has kids will travel.


  4. Thanks. I’ll try again.

    Title – Culture Clash C.Donegal : British girl, sign says `brits out’.
    Title – Going Nowhere: Ferry leaves, five minutes later… bus.
    Title – L’escargots: Cousin can’t speak french. Waiter brings snails.
    Title – Late Arrival: Sorry Ferry left early. Come back tomorrow.
    Title – Bed and breakfast. All furnishings tartan.


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