6 word stories

We run a short story contest as part of book week and the expectation is that stories will be at least 1000 words.  That seems like a very big ask to me and I’ve been wondering if there is another approach.  I’d heard a bit about some ultra short story ideas so I did a bit of searching.  The first thing I found was a reference to a book that has been published called Not quite what I was planning: six word memoirs by writers famous and obscure.  The YouTube video has a sample of what is in the book with a music track and it is great.  The writers have selected pictures to illustrate their stories (or have they been inspired to write their 6 words by a picture they found??) either way the result is a very engaging 4 minutes or so.

When I went to show it to some colleagues at school I discovered that YouTube was now blocked (it hadn’t been previously but it seems we now have a blanket ban) so I went searching on TeacherTube.  I didn’t find the original one but I did find Six words on education which is described as Staff at Durant Road Middle School were asked to submit six-word memoirs about their educational philosophies.

Again, a fascinating video with some very wise, heartfelt and amusing sentiments.  It doesn’t have the visual appeal of the first one, this is simply some clever text effects on a black background, but it is very engaging none-the-less.  I’ve forwarded a link to my principal as it is exactly the sort of thing she likes to open staff meetings with.  I’d like to see if we can come up with some of our own.

The possibilities are endless.  Six word responses to a text.  Six word descriptions of your happiest/saddest/proudest/scariest moment.  I’m definitely going to try to get some kids involved and I’m thinking that next year for book week I’ll get staff to write their 6 word story about the book that has influenced them the most or similar.

I hope you get to see the first one, this blanket banning of YouTube is driving me nuts!  I’ve recently downloaded a YouTube downloader so that I can get the videos when I’m at home and show them at school but I’m fully aware that this almost certainly contravenes copyright – as I understand it, it is ok to show students a video directly from YouTube but it is not ok to show a downloaded copy.  I’ve only used this feature so I can share stuff with colleagues.

And I’ve only linked to the videos here instead of trying to embed them.  I’ve found the only way I can embed a video is to do that, and only that.  If I write any text or add tags or categories I end up with the blank box.  I’ve decided life is too short to keep worrying about that one!



  1. Thanks for those videos Heather. They were both good.
    I find that in wordpress (what my blog uses), the only way I can embed a video is to go into the html, copy the code in, and then put some XXXs in under it so I know where I can start writing again. In the non-html view I can’t see the video until I look at it as if it was published.
    I put the XXXs in so I don’t overwrite the video code. Hope that makes sense.

  2. I’m not sure whether my last comment got accepted
    I wrote about how I embed the code for the video in the html view and then put XXX under it so I know where I can start writing in the normal view – otherwise I find I overwrite the video code.

  3. I’ll give that approach a try Kerrie, thanks for the idea, but I’m not over-confident. As I’ve said before the only way I’ve got videos to work is to paste the code into the non-html view and publish immediately.

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