Six of the Best Short Story Competition

It is said Ernest Hemingway took up a challenge to write a short story
in just six words - can you do the same?

Armidale Regional Libraries is running the annual Six of the Best short story competition for the region’s wordsmiths, with entries open from July 12 2021 to 4 October 2021.
Entries must be exactly six words - no more, no less.
If you think you have what it takes, take the Hemingway challenge today!

Submit your entry here.

See below for a list of key dates, rules and guidelines.

Key dates:

  • Online entries open - 12 July to October 4
  • Judging of entries - 5 October to 22 October
  • Winners advised by email - 1 November to 5 November
  • Winners announced - 8 November
  • Prizes awarded - 17 November at 4pm


  • School students – Levels K-6
  • School students – Levels 7-12
  • Adult - age 18+

Rules and entry conditions:

  • Valid entries must use six words only – no more, no less.
  • Entries must not contain: Phrases quoted from titles of other works; text speak or emojis; figures; images; or languages other than English.
  • Punctuated contractions (e.g. shouldn’t, can’t etc.) will count as two words in the word limit.
  • Appropriate punctuation is allowed.
  •  Punctuation symbols are not included in the word limit.
  • Sentences must begin with a capital letter.
  • Entry to the competition is restricted to the first six entries per person.
  • One story per entry. If you would like to make further entries please complete another the entry form.

Click here for a full set of rules and guidelines. (PDF 41.4KB)

Examples of past winning entries:


First prize
Archie Denning
Bore found; deceased estate in receivership.
Karina Waite
Mum is missing. Bank account drained.
Megan Hofman
Are you alright? Asked her attacker.
Peter Sharp
Good dog, old, needs new home.
Allana Sliwinski
"Who are you?" mum asked again.


First prize
Claudia Huard
I plugged myself into the computer.
Rachel Gooley
Cold fire, abandoned tea, door ajar.
Ayalla Kanety
All sold, but memories still remain.
Estelle Samuel
The ant, the shoe, sad story.

7 to 12

First prize
Sarah Walker
She tired of following. She lead.
Katie Hancock
Woke up and was a chicken.
Chloe Towne
Please. Send help. We are desperate.
Kitty Kelly
Calm voices make me feel uneasy.
Charley Hackett
The bag drips above her head.