Aug 15 2011



Ernest Hemingway – author, hunter, fisherman and drinker – is also famous for being terse with his sentences. It is therefore appropriate that some say he considered that his best work of fiction was also his shortest. It consists of just six words.

Peter Miller tells the story:

More than thirty years ago at the beginning of my career, I had lunch with a well-established newspaper syndicator who told me the following story: Ernest Hemingway was lunching at the Algonquin, sitting at the famous “round table” with several writers, claiming he could write a six-word-long short story. The other writers balked. Hemingway told them to ante up ten dollars each. If he was wrong, he would match it; if he was right, he would keep the pot. He quickly wrote six words on a napkin and passed it around. Papa won the bet.

Hemingways best work?

For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.


Microfiction is a style of writing based on extreme brevity. It is a subset of flash fiction. If short is good, ultra-short is better.

Try these:

One Thousand Words or Less

Fifty Words or Less

Two Sentence Stories

Six Word Stories


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