Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's famous six-word story — "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" — the Academic Resource Center (ARC) recently held a Six-Word Essay Contest that aimed to not only publicize the Writing Center and its services, but also to "give students an opportunity to write outside an academic context — to remind them that writing, in short, can be fun!" said Anni Zhu, one of the Center's Student Global Academic Fellows.
Hoping to encourage student creativity with the prompt, the judges got just what they were looking for. The challenge garnered 73 submissions, from which seven winning entries were chosen. "We were most impressed by the creativity in the submissions," said Elina Mishuris, also a Student Global Academic Fellow at the ARC. "It was wonderful seeing the outpouring of enthusiasm from the students, and especially the entries with an artistic bent — colorful formatting, illustrations, or Joshua Shirley's poem in the shape of a dramatic arc."
The winners — listed below along with their essays — each took home a selection of books themed around travel and journeys as their prize, as well as the satisfaction of rising to the Center's challenge. "Writing concisely can often be tough," Zhu said. "We were excited to see what stories students were able to fit into just six words."
Laith Aqel: "Water broke. Man slipped. Lively Death."
Rediet Demissie: "Caution: Desert heat, occupied by heroes."
James Lloyd: "Never sexier than in a mirror."
Kristina Kleymenova: "She turned, he gazed, she walked."
Nishant Mohanchandra: "I am human. Wish I wasn't."
Joshua Shirley: "Meet Know Love Grow Fade Throw"
Yannick Trapman-O'Brien: "(A Memoir) Plans changed, often for the better."