Contest, Short Story, Typography

6 Word Stories: A Contest

When I was a student at FIT, we would have to collect “things” for several classes and keep them in a book. At random, our super adorable Typography Professor would call you up and have you present your findings for the week. Being a collector of stuff (I get it from my grandma Dorothy), I had a billion little bits of paper overflowing out from my “process” notebook. It was not weird to buy a magazine or product just because you liked the typography or design of it. Art students are strange collectors. It was no surprise to me when I picked up the November 2006 issue of WIRED magazine because I liked the cover and wanted to read the article. Boy was I in for a really wonderful surprise.

Of course that week I was called up in Type class to show and tell my findings. All I brought up was the magazine, explaining why I purchased it and what treasure awaited me inside. The article, located on pages 212 -221, is called “Very Short Stories” and is a conglomeration of 33 Writers, 5 designers, and 6 word pieces of science fiction. Not only is the graphic design/typography stellar, the stories are pretty cool, too.

You can find the original content Here:          http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2006/11/sixwords?slide=1&slideView=4 and Here: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html.

I still have the magazine and refused to throw it out when Captain Clam was on one of his cleaning rampages. I wrote a 6-word story about it: Captain Clam Says NO, Stephanie Wins.

I need to rework that a little bit. In the meantime, below are the short stories and graphic designs for your viewing pleasure. I have organized them according to their presentation in the magazine.

05

Failed SAT. Lost Scholarship. Invented Rocket.
– William Shatner
Computer, did we bring Batteries? Computer?
– Eileen Gunn
Vacuum Collision. Orbits Diverge. Farewell, Love.
– David Brin
Design By Chip Kidd

06-1

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
– Joss Whedon
Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
– Stan Lee
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
– Alan Moore
Design By Chipp Kidd

02

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
– Margaret Atwood
His penis snapped off; he’s pregnant!
– Rudy Rucker
From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
– Gregory Maguire
Internet “wakes up?” Ridicu –
no carrier.
– Charles Stross
With bloody hands, I say good-bye.
– Frank Miller
Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
– Steven Meretzky
Design by Frost Design

01

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
– Ronald D. Moore

07

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
– Vernor Vinge

08

It cost too much, staying human.
– Bruce Sterling
We kissed. She melted. Mop please!
– James Patrick Kelly
It’s behind you! Hurry before it
– Rockne S. O’Bannon
I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
– Stephen Baxter
1940: Young Hitler! Such a cantor!
– Michael Moorcock
Design by Tomato

03

Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
– Richard Powers
I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?
– Neil Gaiman
The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
– Orson Scott Card
Kirby had never eaten toes before.
– Kevin Smith
Rained, rained, rained, and never stopped.
– Howard Waldrop
To save humankind he died again.
– Ben Bova
Design by Stephen Doyle

04

We went solar; sun went nova.
– Ken MacLeod

09

Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
– Paul Di Filippo

15

“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
– Howard Chaykin
Design by John Maeda

14

Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
– Stephen R. Donaldson
Design by John Maeda

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man. - Mark Millar Design by John Maeda

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man.
– Mark Millar
Design by John Maeda

TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! … nobody there … - Harry Harrison Design by John Meada

TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! … nobody there …
– Harry Harrison
Design by John Maeda

Tick tock tick tock tick tick. - Neal Stephenson Design by John Maeda

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
– Neal Stephenson
Design by John Maeda

Easy. Just touch the match to - Ursula K. Le Guin Design by John Madea

Easy. Just touch the match to
– Ursula K. Le Guin
Design by John Madea

Now, there are an additional 59 stories that did not make it into the magazine. You can view those here http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html (and scroll to the middle) for inspiration. These are “Special Web-Only” Edition Pieces.

So… what’s up with my contest? Well, I want YOU to write me a 6 word story. You can include graphics if you’d like, or just rely on your shear genius to tell a story using 6 words and nothing else. Think of it as a haiku, but not.

Please submit your stories to stjanecek@gmail.com with the subject line: “6 Word Story” by August 16 (My mom’s birthday!). Eventually I will post the finalists and then let you all decide who wins.

Now, what is the prize? Well, since I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY so much, the winner will receive a handmade item from me in the shape of a picture frame

67512_451239582400_248879_n

Photo Courtesy of Nick Papaleo
Drawing by Leigh Kosloski
Frame shown is NOT actual prize, but a mere depiction of what will be sent to the winner. Picture is not included, but I might throw a fancy sketch of a cat or something in there for funsies!

You can enter as many stories as you’d like, but please be reasonable. I do have a life (just kidding!). In the event of a team effort (say writer and graphic artist) or two really awesome neck and neck stories, I think I can find it in my heart to give out two prizes. I have a lot of spare time and picture frames on my hands.

Well, I love you all and good luck!

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2 thoughts on “6 Word Stories: A Contest

    • Read the post and please submit accordingly. I know it’s a rather lengthy post, but read ALL of it. Follow the rules, although no one seems to do that these days. I’ll add your story to the mix, I know you can do better than that (although it IS growing on me!). You have two weeks, doll!

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