Sasquatch Journal



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published in NARRATIVE Magazine 2016



The story, possibly apocryphal but fun nevertheless, is this: Hemingway at a table in a p.o.s.h. New York restaurant, bets his friends that he, master of spare, description-free writing, can craft an entire story / novel in just 6 words.


Cash is thrown into the center of the table.


Papa H. brandishes a writing instrument over a napkin, then scribbles. The napkin circumnavigates the table. Heads nod. Hemingway’s big, hairy arms scoop in the pot.


The napkin says "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."


Disciplining your writing to such a concise form is actually a very useful exercise. It has spawned numerous contests over the years.


Another example that rivals the visceral impact of Hemingway’s is by author Margaret Atwood:


“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”


Narrative magazine offered a contest. I entered. Won. Here it is:


“Seminary student, taught to think, disenrolls.”