six word stories

I have been inspired by The Blog of Tony Burgess. Go check it out and follow if you like 🙂 His blog has a section entitled “6 word stories.” It reminded me of a fun project I once participated in. A few years ago, I got really into writing letters and having pen pals across the world. I discovered a site called PostCrossing. It’s amazing and simple. You send postcards to others who have signed up, all over the world if you want. Then you get the same amount of postcards in return from Russia to the Philippines to Daytona, Florida. It would be a wonderful project to do with a class.

From there, I discovered another site called SwapBot that was much more complicated, but very fun (however bitches got catty and petty and I ain’t got time for that, unfortunately). On SwapBot, you can choose from hundreds of swaps that were happening like send an envelope and letter decorated in Alice and Wonderland art or send 3 postcards from your home state or send a box of chocolates and some valentines or send a coloring book page that you colored yourself etc. and so on and so forth. Ideally, you would get something nice back from someone who joined that group.

On SwapBot, I liked to do the writing and artsy challenges and receive artsy writing in return. I was often inspired, sometimes amazed, and always happy to receive art in the mail.

One time I joined a swap titled “Six Word Memoirs.” The objective was to write your own personal 6 word memoir on a postcard and receive one back from a stranger, no further explanations allowed.

I think this is a perfect assignment for the first week of school for students. Follow up every once in a while and write a new one. Keep them where the kids can’t see them and make them into books at the end of the year. Write one on the board to introduce yourself. Write them for characters in novels. Write them for characters the students design. Write them to review a novel or article. Write and don’t stop! However you do it, it’s a great lesson on editing and being concise.

Other fun assignments in literary precision: 2 sentence horror stories (great for Halloween time), haiku, and Hemingway’s shortest short story challenge


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