THE HEMINGWAY CHALLENGE: Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

Ernest Hemingway

For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American journalist and author

That’s Hemingway’s shortest story according to an oft told and often disputed tale. Hemingway was allegedly challenged to write a story in six words (some accounts say ten) to win a wager. To be a story, it had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  The anecdote probably is a fabrication.

At any rate, I rather like the idea. I’m no Hemingway, but what the heck. Here’s two of my tries, mystery both.  

Meticulous diary
Pages missing
No alibi


Moonlight sonata
Sudden pause
Lion roared


Your turn: write a six-word story. 

Photo credit ~ via Wikipedia Ernest Hemingway at a fishing camp in Kenya in 1954. “His hand and arms are burned from a recent bushfire; his hair burned from the recent plane crashes.”

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Write what you don’t know!

The received wisdom given to writers for as long as I can remember is “write what you know.” I haven’t a clue where on earth that might have come from. I have read that Hemingway’s advice was . . .

“From all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive.”

That makes more sense to me then “write what you know.” So does Nikki Giovanni’s comment …

I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”

Danny Strong (b. 1974), actor, writer, director and producer
Danny Strong (b. 1974), actor, screenwriter, television and film director and producer

In this video Danny Strong makes the same point in his own colorful way.

If you are viewing this post in an email, you will have to link through to the site for view the video.

Photo credit: Danny Strong courtesy of the Annual Peabody Awards under CC SA 2.0 license

THE SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other Information and News

PBD - blogroll


Opportunity Knocks

POETRY FOUNDATION accepts submissions year round for its Poetry Magazine. Details HERE.

PARIS REVIEW accepts submissions – including unsolicited submissions – year round.  Details HERE.

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, an anthology of Wishing Up Press, invites submissions of poetry, fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction exploring – you got it! – “the kindness of strangers.” The submission deadline is September 1, 2016. Details HERE.

POLYCHROME INK celebrates diversity in literature and is interested in submissions from underrepresented voices writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Deadline for the next issue is July 1, 2016, however, the publication does have a “rolling submission policy” … in other words, you may submit year-round. Details are HERE.

MOREL SOUTH&WEST is a regional publication of Ontario currently accepting poetry, fiction, essays and articles on Southwestern Ontario. Poetry submissions are welcome through June 19 for publication in July 2016. Details HERE.

FISSURE is open year-round and offers opportunities to young LGBTQ+ and allies. Submission guidelines are HERE.

JSTOR (pronounced Jay-stor) has been around a long time.  JSTOR Daily – “where news meets scholarly match” is relatively new. It is a paying venue, “an online magazine that offers a fresh way for people to understand and contextualize their world. It features topical essays that draw connections between current affairs, historical scholarship, and other content that’s housed on JSTOR, a digital library of scholarly journals, books, and primary sources. In addition to weekly feature articles, the magazine publishes daily blog posts that provide the backstory to complex issues of the day in a variety of subject areas, interviews with and profiles of scholars and their work, and much more. The magazine makes the content on JSTOR, which most people access via university libraries or other institutions, freely available to the general reader by highlighting timely or otherwise compelling content, and providing free links to that content.” Further details and submission guidelines are HERE.

MSLEXIA (Newcastle) sponsors annual contests and the Children’s Novel Competition is open for submissions though September 19, 2016. Details HERE.

JOURNAL OF NEW JERSEY POETS is accepting poetry submissions from New Jersey poets through October 1, 2016. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE theme for July 2016 is “Faith: In Things Seen and Unseen.” Poems, essays, short-stories (up to 1,200 words), flash fiction, feature articles (up t0 1,200 words), photography, art or video – as long as it can be loaded into a post – are acceptable for consideration. Deadline is July 10.  Details HERE.

SEVEN BY TWENTY,  a journal of twitter literature, reports that its submission que is empty and invites submissions. Details HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

BATTERED MOONS POETRY COMPETITON is open to U.K. residents and is part of the Poetry Swindon Festival. Deadline is 30 June 2016. Details HERE.

BLACK BOX POETRY PRIZE for poetry collections is accepting submission through the 30th of this month. It is sponsored by Rescue Press. Details HERE.

BARROW STREET PRESS book contest deadline for a previously unpublished book of poetry in English is June 30. Details HERE.


Tuesday, September 15, 7:00 PM
U.S. POET LAUREATE INAUGURAL READING, Washington, D.C. 21st Poet Laureate Consultant Juan Felipe Herrera will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with his inaugural reading. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor) Contact: (202) 707-5394

Monday, June 13, 8:30 AM–5:00 PM
FROM THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT TO CAVE CANEM, Washington, D.C. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Arts Movement and the 20th anniversary of Cave Canem, a day-long symposium featuring two panels and a Master Class in children’s literature. This event is co-sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, PEN/Faulkner Foundation,
Contact: (202) 707-5394

GRASSINGTON FESTIVAL, 15 Days of Music and Arts in the Yorkshire Dales (looks like there are about three or four poetry events) from 17th June – 2nd July. Details HERE.

100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE events will take place around the world on Saturday, September 24, 2016. To find an event in your area or to sign-up to organize an event in your area visit 100tpc. On this global day of unity and consciousness raising, literary and other artists and friends around the world will come together in cities, hometowns and even private homes to encourage peace, sustainability and social justice.

The BeZine will host a virtual 100TPC event that day offering you the opportunity to participate electronically no matter where in the world you live and even if you are homebound. Our Contributing Editor, American-Isreali poet Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel), is master of ceremonies.


INDIE AUTHOR NEWS – a go-to place for those of you who self-publish.

THE LAST GOOD COUNTRY  “tells the ambiguous origins of Ernest Hemingway and his transformation into one of the greatest writers/icons the world has ever known. After returning from WWI in Milan, shaken by injury, and shut out by the woman he loved, Hemingway travels to the Upper Peninsula to discover what kind of man he is meant to be. These events would eventually become the inspiration for his Nick Adams tales.”


Submit your event, book launch and other announcements at least fourteen days in advance to Publication is subject to editorial discretion.