Another contest? Yes! Significant Objects X SmithMag’s Six Words

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We couldn’t be more thrilled with the creative results of our contest in partnership with Slate (600+ entries), and the economic results are looking good, too: As I type, bidding on the Bar-B-Q Jar + Story by Matthew J. Wells is at a very healthy $54! But even before we had settled on a winner, we had decided that the response to our first contest justified another one. We didn’t simply want to repeat ourselves, of course, so we had to think of a new angle, a new wrinkle to add to our data set. And I’m here to announce it: The Significant Objects X SmithMag Six-Word Story Contest.

Create its Signficance -- in Six Words

Create its Significance -- in Six Words

Maybe you’ve encountered SmithMag‘s Six-Word explorations in the past:  Inspired by a (mythical?) challenge, Ernest Hemingway supposedly concocted a meaningful short story in a mere half-dozen words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”). Inspired by that, challenged its readers to create six-word memoirs, leading to the best-selling book Not Quite What I Was Planning, and a series of popular follow-ups and reader challenges.

Six Words proved everyone has a story, and of course Significant Objects believes every thing has a story, too. (Hemingway’s story was, after all, about an object.) Or it can, even if you have to make one up.

So what about the object above? It’s a lighter that looks like a small pool ball. But what’s its story?

You tell us. Leave your Six-Word Significance for the above object in the comments to this post at at (Don’t leave it on this site.) The best response will be published on the Significant Objects site — and more to the point, in our eBay store. Proceeds from that auction go to to the author of the winning submission.

The deadline: Friday, November 6, 8 pm Eastern. Head over to SmithMag and enter now.



Rob Walker is the author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, and writes the Consumed column for The New York Times Magazine.

12 thoughts on “Another contest? Yes! Significant Objects X SmithMag’s Six Words

  1. “Pocket scorched, the break still loomed.” — by Mimi (wonder if it’s the same Mimi who’s already written for Significant Objects?) is a good one. I like the format of this contest — i.e., posting a comment to SmithMag’s post — because you can read the entries in real time, watch themes emerge, and so forth. Very exciting!

  2. 75 responses already — what a cool contest. Very enjoyable to read all these submissions.

  3. I realize that I’m setting a bad example, but don’t post your stories here! Post ’em at SmithMag — click on link in post above.

  4. Josh you ARE setting a bad example! I bullied Eileen into re-posting her story over at SmithMag. If “Pamikins” wants to be considered for the honor of S.O.-ness, same deal!

    88 responses over there as I type this. Kinda cool..

  5. Joshua, Rob – will you keep posting 6 word SO’s that catch your eye in THIS comments section? There’s too many to keep up with!!! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Katharine — add this to the Smith site’s post if you want to be considered in the contest! We’re trying to keep all entries in one place.

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