Lake Region Arts Council Celebrates Their First Six Word Short Story Contest Winners

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This regional nonprofit arts agency experiences rapid growth of its new online short writing contest, engaging writers of all backgrounds from around the globe.

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Today Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC), a nonprofit 510(c)3 which provides grants and services to regional artists and arts organizations, announced winners in their new online Six Word Short Story Contest have been selected. After creating a special online website and Facebook page to promote interest in short writing contests, LRAC saw a surge of entries from writers worldwide, reaching a peak today of 2,039 Facebook "likes" and over 300 Six Word Short Story entries.

Of LRAC's recent Short Writing Contest success, Maxine Adams, Executive Director said, "Deciding to sponsor an online writing contest was an adventurous experiment for us. We wanted to provide an opportunity for a larger number of people to try their hand at this very popular form of writing. LRAC had successfully held a local Six Word Short Story Contest for the last five years. Moving the contest online seemed like the next logical step."

"We are thrilled with the response to the Short Writing Contest Facebook page and the Six Word Short Story Contest web site," said Gary Henrickson, Board Chair of Lake Region Arts Council. "The number of entrants and the quality of their writing far exceeded our expectations."

The rise in popularity of writing very short stories is connected to the famous writer Ernest Hemmingway. It seems that Hemmingway was once challenged to write a complete story in six words. Here is what he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” Some people say it was written to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors. But it proves that it is possible to create a short story with just six words.

Imaginative writers from all over the world took up LRAC's challenge to create a story in just six words. All entries in the Six Word Short Story Contest were judged by a panel of three judges on the criteria of Creativity, Cleverness and Imagery. The judges, Luke Anderson, Ann Hermes and Rod Broding are published and experienced writers themselves. After extensive review the judges chose the following entries:

Grand Prize winner: Jon Scott Kendrick
His winning entry: "Biographer wanted: short life, long story."

Jon receives $100 grand prize, publication on websites, publicity in press releases, and mention in ads in national publications: Poets & Writers Magazine, and AWP, The Writer’s Chronicle.

Jon's post on the Short Writing Contest Facebook page reflects his enthusiasm for the contest, "Thank You one and all. I would like to thank SWC & LRAC for having the six word story contest. When I received the email I was more than shocked, flabbergasted would be more accurate. I have been writing short stories and novels for five years. Never submitted a one. When I saw the post for the competition I figured six words how hard is that? Two weeks later and ten stories I picked three to submit. I didn't have a prayer. If you write the biggest thrill is that someone sees your work and likes it. Whether they chuckle, cry or ponder. For someone to like your work, grand or small, is important to you. Thank you."

Second Place winner: John Quirk
His winning entry: "High heeled, glancing backward, she sashayed."

John receives publication on websites, publicity in press releases, and mention in ads in national publications: Poets & Writers Magazine, and AWP, The Writer’s Chronicle.

LRAC was so impressed with the outcome of the competition that they have decided to run the Six Word Short Story Contest again starting February of 2014. First place prize money will increase to $500. The winning Six Word Short Stories for the 2013 short writing contest will be showcased online at All the latest news about the next Six Word Short Story contest and items of interest to the Short Writing Community can be seen For additional information about The Lake Region Arts Council, please visit

Lake Region Arts Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encourage and support the vitality of the arts. LRAC accomplishes this through grants to community organizations and individual artists in the region; and providing an electronic newsletter, workshops and technical assistance. LRAC serves the counties of: Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin in west central Minnesota.

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