Contest: Write a Very Short Parenting Story

Note: This contest has ended, HOWEVER you can now enter our Create a New Story Title Contest. It has the same prize as our previous contest, but will have FIVE winners.

There is an oft-repeated tale of Ernest Hemingway wagering with his colleagues that he could write a complete story in only six words. He won the bet. His story: "For sale: Baby shoes, Never worn."

In that spirit, your challenge is to write a six-word story about parenting. It’s up to you as to how narrowly or widely you interpret the subject matter.

To get in the groove, read other online samples where average people wrote six-word memoirs and sci-fi and horror writers wrote original stories.

Here are a few rough examples my wife and I pulled together in a few minutes.

  • Two years later. My boobs sag.
  • Dancing. Fairy wings. I’m a dad.
  • No more diapers! Please wash hands.
  • The cat will never forgive her.
  • So that’s what my mother meant.
  • My boy was just like me. (okay, that one isn’t original)

The Prize:

Photo of the DVD case for Scholastic's Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics Thinpak. An image from Where the Wild Things Are is visible on the front.

One lucky winner takes home Scholastic’s Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics Thinpak: "One hundred award-winning and classic children’s stories are faithfully adapted and brought to life in this comprehensive 16-DVD collection. From the Maurice Sendak classic Where the Wild Things Are to the beloved adventures of Curious George and Corduroy parents and children alike are sure to enjoy these classic treasures featuring celebrity narration from Sarah Jessica Parker, James Earl Jones and many more! Runtime: 14 hours, 41 minutes."

The Rules:

Submit your six-word parenting story via the comment form below. To be eligible, you must include a six-word-only (no more, no less) story, your name or nickname and a valid e-mail address in your blog comment.

Your e-mail address won’t be published, but will be used to contact you if you win (check your spam filter just in case!). The winner must provide his or her shipping address to Thingamababy within 1 week of the winner notification e-mail being sent. Thingamababy will then share the address with Scholastic’s publicist for the purpose of shipping the prize.

The contest ends 11:59 p.m., Friday, September 5, 2008, Pacific time.

The contest is open only to residents of the United States or Canada (your shipping address must be in the US or Canada). The DVDs are in Region 1 formatting (you guessed it, viewable only for US and Canadian DVD players).

People from other countries are welcome to participate purely on a for-the-fun level, but please add the prefix "Outlander" to your name to help distinguish your unofficial entries. Again, if you do not have a shipping address in the US or Canada, you will not be awarded the prize. Think of it as one of Thingamababy’s many just-for-fun game posts.

When the contest deadline has passed, my wife and I will narrow the submissions down to our 10 favorite funny, punny, creative or thoughtful stories and then pick 1 winner for the 16-DVD collection and that winner will be announced on Thingamababy.

Now jog your brain! How hard can six words be? Enter as often as you like.

This contest has ended. See who won.


50 Responses to “Contest: Write a Very Short Parenting Story”

  1. Blair says:

    Vomit. Blends well on patterned shirts.

    August 8th, 2008 at 5:37 am

  2. thordora says:

    The puddle, it wasn’t the cat.

    August 8th, 2008 at 5:41 am

  3. Kathleen says:

    Potty Training: When will it end?

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:33 am

  4. Christy says:

    Golden fountains of baby boy youth.

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:21 am

  5. Janis says:

    We’re all a work in progress.

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:29 am

  6. Lala says:

    Anger makes me a mothering failure.

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:31 am

  7. Tammy says:

    Sleep, a distant memory, I miss

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:02 am

  8. Erin H. says:

    Again? It was time to move.

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:26 am

  9. Nathan says:

    Potty training complete. Diapers gone forever.

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:27 am

  10. Nathan says:

    She ran to me screaming, “Daddy!”

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:28 am

  11. molly says:

    Don’t hit him. Don’t bite her.

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:31 am

  12. molly says:

    Let’s go for an adventure walk.

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:32 am

  13. molly says:

    “What is THAT?”
    “Oh dear.”

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:33 am

  14. STL Mom says:

    First day of school — come soon!

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:49 am

  15. Julian says:

    Peanut, don’t french kiss the dog.

    August 8th, 2008 at 8:50 am

  16. STL Mom says:


    August 8th, 2008 at 9:02 am

  17. STL Mom says:

    Kids in bed — mommy needs wine.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:04 am

  18. Stephanie says:

    I could have named you Dabrickashawna

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:19 am

  19. anjii says:

    My heart. On my sleeve. Forever.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:23 am

  20. anjii says:

    Boys are monkeys. Keep them safe.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:25 am

  21. anjii says:

    Once so little, now so big.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:33 am

  22. anjii says:

    Five weeks NICU… hardest thing EVER!

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:34 am

  23. anjii says:

    Brothers love each other… I smile.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:35 am

  24. anjii says:

    Seeing myself in everything he does.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:38 am

  25. Chris says:

    Calm down. Not everything is dangerous.

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:54 am

  26. Jen says:

    Now no bodily functions are sacred.

    August 8th, 2008 at 11:30 am

  27. jen says:

    Will I ever pee in peace?

    August 8th, 2008 at 11:32 am

  28. jen says:

    Mom says, “I told you so!”

    August 8th, 2008 at 11:33 am

  29. Jen L says:

    Time to go wash up. Again.

    August 8th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

  30. Jen L says:

    Hurray! Naptime. For all of us.

    August 8th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

  31. Jen L says:

    Why mommy? But why mommy? Why?

    August 8th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

  32. Jen L says:

    Rough around edges. Love all between.

    August 8th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

  33. Jen L says:

    We all learn from my mistakes.

    August 8th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

  34. Darby says:

    Tiny hand in mine, I cried.

    August 8th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

  35. Stephanie says:

    I could never do this alone.

    August 8th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

  36. Natalie says:

    No longer disgusted by poop, vomit.

    August 8th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

  37. Eden says:

    Raising them not to need me.

    August 8th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

  38. cdub says:

    Peep, poop, puke. Worn them all.

    August 8th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

  39. Erin H. says:

    There was a heartbeat, after all.

    August 8th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  40. Mary says:

    Because I said so. That’s why.

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

  41. Mary says:

    Did you already ask your mother?

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

  42. Mary says:

    Feed. Burp. Change diaper. Nap. Repeat.

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

  43. Scott says:

    Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat as necessary.

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

  44. Mary says:

    Heartbreak every time I leave you.

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:36 pm

  45. Mary says:

    Dark, quiet, nursing as one; heaven.

    August 8th, 2008 at 6:46 pm

  46. addy says:

    here is mine….

    “Runtime: 14 hours, 41 minutes. Peace”

    is this plagarism???…HAHA I am such a nerd

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

  47. coreym says:

    no, No, NO! What? OK, Yes.

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

  48. Kara says:

    He just peed on my nose!

    August 9th, 2008 at 12:59 am

  49. Kara says:

    Some assembly required. Three hours later…

    August 9th, 2008 at 1:05 am

  50. Kara says:

    Babies don’t come with instruction manuels?!

    August 9th, 2008 at 1:06 am