6-Word Novel Contest Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Blue Avocado 6 Word Novel Contest. We received more than 200 entries! Ordinarily, reading 200 novels would have been very difficult, but luckily they were all short. Some were even disqualified for being only five words.

"We're a clever but dark bunch just now," commented judge Kathleen Enright, noting that many of the novels match the current zeitgest. And judge Lynora Williams pointed us to Wikipedia's definition of flash-fiction: "Flash fiction differs from a vignette in that the flash-fiction work contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles/ complications, resolution . . . The limited word length forces some of these elements to be hinted at or implied."

Given 200+ entries and eight judges, a surprising outcome is that there was a tie for first place: each will receive a box of fresh avocados delivered to their door!

First place winner #1: Man walks on moon. Mars thrives.

Written by Joanne Gerow, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. "I see this as a just-discovered novel of the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.," commented contest judge Rick Carter. "Love it!"

First place winner #2: My secret discovered. Plane ticket purchased.

Author Anne Ackerson, Museum Association of New York (in Troy). Judge Janis Lane-Ewart noted this novel's "ability to capture my imagination, sense of escapism, and mystery."

And now for the finalists

And now for the remaining finalists, along with amusing and enlightening comments from our judges' panel:

Dissastisfied, inspired, catalyzed, satisfied, sustained, dead. --Liisa Hale, BlueSkies for Children, Oakland, California. Judge Paul Sussman commented: "Best of class in the straight-on novel arc, brought up a notch with "catalyzed," so dear to our activist nonprofit hearts."

Aliens appeared, searched for intelligence, left. --Bob Greenberg, Congregation Kol Tikvah, Parkland, Florida. "Just snide enough," commented judge Umni Song. Judge Alana Conner wrote this 6-word rejoinder: "Meanwhile, natives continue their futile search."

He loved, lied, and was left. --Mark Moroney, Lake Highland Girls Classic League, Dallas, Texas. Mark wants us to know that this was "not based on personal experience!"

Said I'd never marry again. Damn. --Carol Bobby, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Alexandria, Virginia. "Really, what is left to say," commented judge Rick Carter.

"Mine." "No, mine." Click. Bang. "MINE!" --Robin Wheeler, Access to Justice Commission, South Carolina Bar, Columbia, South Carolina. "Fantastic dialogue and excellent use of aural and visual clues!" commented judge Lynora Williams.

E.D. Wanted: Immediate hire, fingerprints req'd. --Karen Aitchison, community volunteer, San Francisco. "Nothing more satisfying than getting the real dish," said Paul Sussman.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Gloria died clean. --Tawny Stottlemire, Kansas Association of Community Action Programs, Topeka, Kansas. Alana Conner's 6-word rejoinder: "But the spin cycle really sucked."

Monday's meeting: a carnival of boo-boos. --Victoria Giller, The Children's Place at Home Safe, Lake Worth, Florida. Kathleen Enright's comment: "Just wait! The next Monday's meeting: a blamestorming session."

I finally realized he loved guacamole. --Michael Bigley, Cafritz Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Fresno: a Mediterranean hotspot! Who knew? --Nancy Crossfield, Clovis Botanical Garden, Clovis, California. Note to readers east of Lake Tahoe: Since Fresno is an inland city, this is a comment on global warming. :)

Harvard educated housecleaner. $10 per hour. --Enith Williams, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, Bronx, New York

She never wore black lipstick again. --Christine McCabe, College Spark, Seattle, Washington. Alana's conner rejoinder: "And he never wore white again."

Murder! Suspected. Innocent? Sherlock. Twist! Exonerated. --Georgette Tarnow, Sauganash Park Community Association, Chicago, Illinois

After yesterday's film, everyone's gone vegetarian. --Sue Stack, Friends of Auburn/Tahoe Vista Placer County Animal Shelters, Auburn, California

He paddled, overcame, encountered bear, won. --Kate Williams, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Waitsfield, Vermont

Literacy nonprofit broke. Write-a-thon. Bam. $30,000. --Robert Menzimer, Community Alliance for Learning, Albany, California

Poisoned avocados? Holmes' great-grandson investigates nonprofit. --Rebecca Zimmerman, National Center for Family Philanthropy, Washington, D.C. Extra points to this and all avocado-related entries!

And let us thank our distinguished judges . . . they all have creative spirits perhaps not fully exercised through their jobs as nonprofit executive directors, in nonprofit finance, marketing, grantmaking, and the like:

Many readers commented that just writing the novels was fun. Thanks to so many people for stretching brain muscles and sending in such terrific and fun entries. Even if your entry didn't make the finals, the judges enjoyed the creativity of every single one. And why does Blue Avocado hold such a contest, in addition to just being fun? Because we're about civic pride in the community nonprofit sector . . . and we learn to be a cohesive, confident community by telling stories. Coming in the fall: the Blue Avocado 6-Word Mission Statement contest!

Comments (13)

  • That was fun.

    Aug 02, 2009
  • Wow ~ All it took was six words and now I can add to my CV that I'm an award-winning published novelist! Thank you to all the judges but especially to Hemingway for his six word novel that was an inspiration...and I quote: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn."
    Joanne Gerow

    Aug 03, 2009
  • I really loved doing it, and learned a lot from reading the entries.

    Aug 04, 2009
  • I found out about the contest too late to enter. If there'd been time, I would have submitted not an original work but a salute to a Classic, from two millennia ago, the swashbuckler of all swashbucklers:
    I came. I saw. I conquered.
    Or instead of best swashbuckler of all time, perhaps it's the world's most famous kill-and-tell?
    Tom Finnegan in San Francisco

    Aug 04, 2009
  • What a great comment! Who would have thought that Ernest Hemmingway was copying Julius Caesar's style. Jan

    Aug 04, 2009
  • Disappointed. Sour grapes or brown avocados?
    - A Contributor

    Aug 04, 2009
  • Thanks to Blue Avocado for sponsoring this contest. It was great fun to have an excuse to play with words. The breadth of the entries confirms what I already knew -- that people in nonprofits are extremely creative!
    Georgette Tarnow

    Aug 04, 2009
  • Dang it! Didn't win. (Didn't enter.)

    Aug 05, 2009
  • Awesome comment. Jan

    Aug 10, 2009
  • Please post them all! Such fun...
    Kim Olstad

    Aug 13, 2009
  • Anonymous

    i have written therefore i am

    Sep 26, 2011
  • I came, I saw, I concurred. -Adam Lee Zitting

    Dec 06, 2012
  • Anonymous

    You gave me a military flashback (the kind that are a relief).

    Jan 31, 2014

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