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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Freethinkers: Send us your six-word stories!

Addis cartoon

Dear Readers:

Have you ever heard of six-word stories? Sometimes they’re called memoirs. Googling the terms reveals numerous online mentions and examples.

Editor Larry Smith challenged readers in 2006 in his eponymous storytelling magazine to describe their lives in six words and cited one attributed, perhaps wrongly, to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

The Marin Independent Journal in San Rafael, Calif., runs variations featuring different topics. The prompt: “Please make it a story with a beginning, middle and end — not six adjectives, a cliché or advice. Make it personal. Make us laugh or cry or at the very least feel something.”

Submissions for the topic of mortality included “Six feet under. Off you go.” “Truth be told, we’re all terminal.” “Kaiser missed my cancer. Bye bye.” “Brendan, our son, gone too soon.” “Full life, no regrets. It’s time.” “Ain’t no time to wonder why.” (The last precedes “Whoopee, we’re all gonna die” in Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag.”)

Your mission, FFRF members, is to reflect about your reliance on or journey to nonbelief/freethought. Examples: “Gods flourish where reason is scant.” “First gods, then reason, then freedom.”

This isn’t a contest. Submissions, limited to one per person, will be printed in the paper and online. Deadline is March 30.

To submit, write “Six-word story” in an email subject line. Include your name and state of residence. Email to

Or, mail it to FFRF, Attn: Bill Dunn, Box 750, Madison, WI 53701. 

Have fun!