#6WordsMiami Challenges Miami Authors to Write Their Shortest Story Ever

Can you write a complete story in just six words? The Miami Book Fair International has put out a unique challenge called #6WordsMiami. If you can master the challenge, your story could be an official selection at the fair this November.

The contest reflects Miami's literary creativity, said Lissette Mendez, the program's director at the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College.

"#6WordsMiami is a way to get everyone out there involved with the Miami Book Fair, as well as a fun way to inspire creativity," she says. "I always say that everyone in Miami has a story. And in different ways I've always worked to get people to tell their stories. Some of the ways we do that are serious - writing workshops, for example. But this is one is a more lighthearted way, and everyone can participate. Everyone can add their voice. Miami Book Fair, to me, is Miami's most inclusive event, and this is a way for all Miamians to feel included."

The challenge is this: Tell as complete a story as you can using just six words. You can tweet or post your story to Facebook using the hashtag #6WordsMiami, or simply email it to

The best stories will be interpreted and shot by a professional photographer - fitting, since the idea for the contest was inspired by postcards. "I thought it would be fun to do ... a twist on the iconic 'wish you were here' postcard," explains Mendez. "The photographer we will choose will be someone who loves capturing that 'Miaminess.' It's a way to recognize the talent of the writers who are sending their work in, and also to highlight a local photographer."

Six winning stories will be selected to be interpreted by the photographer and published into a limited edition postcard set. One winner will also present her/his story in person at the fair.

It doesn't matter what genre of story you're writing. But regardless of the genre, Mendez says, the type of stories that will move the judges the most are those inspired by Miami.

"This Book Fair is all about our community coming together," says Mendez. "This project is about getting as many people in Miami thinking of their city, writing, and letting each other and everyone know what's in their heart about the place they call home."

Time's a'wastin', so get to writing! Submit as many stories as you like (which can be written in English, Spanish or Creole) to Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #6wordsmiami) or by email at The deadline for submitting is October 15.

Also, if you're looking for inspiration, there are several events on tap to facilitate writing and friendship. "We want to add to the fun with great events for people to hang out together," she says. "We are doing happy hours where people can grab a drink and write their stories and meet other people who like books."

The first event will take place at R House on Thursday, July 24, between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Other TBA events will take place over the summer.

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Monique Jones