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Winners of the 2014 Six-Word Story Contest Read their Work

November 23, 2014

Creativity, brevity keys to annual six-word story contest


  • Boston
Compelling stories told in few and powerful words.

The winning entries in UMass Boston’s Six-Word Story Contest made the audience in the packed Point Lounge both laugh and think on Wednesday.

Ruben Circelli was this year’s winner with the story: “Queen became twin, cribs became carpet.” The top 20 entries, out of a record 340 received, were read at the event.

Circelli won a $100 gift card. Runners-up Jaran Stallbaum (“Your dog still whines at motorcycles”) and Bailey McKelvey (“Holiday at Grandma's. Who are you?") received $50 gift cards.

Michael Dodd (“The parsley farmer's wages were garnished”) and Andrew Campbell (“If lost, please return to cemetery”) were among those who received honorable mentions.

“I got inspired from my grandmother’s grave,” Campbell said. “I looked around and I just saw how there were flowers there, and how some graves were cleared off and there wasn’t anything there. And it made me wonder, what happens to those things that get there?”

The contest was sponsored by the English MFA and creative writing programs. Students could submit up to three entries, with the criterion that a story had to be told in six words. The contest, now in its third year, gets its inspiration from Ernest Hemingway’s story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”

Watch the winners read their entries and see more of the honorable mention entries in this video.

About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit