The Six Word Wonder contest is simple to enter. Simply write up to six stories, poems, memoirs, or jokes, told in only six word.
There a number of ways to increase your chances of winning the contest. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking.
How to increase your chances of winning the Six Word Wonder contest
1. Read more Six Word Wonders
Reading other stories is the single most effective way of improving your own entries.
We currently have three books in the Six Word Wonder series. You should ideally read all of these books to discover over one thousand six word stories. Here’s direct links to the three books for you to buy.
You can read many entries to previous contests here. (Health warning: these are the ones that didn’t make the shortlist).
2. Consider your genre
Are you writing a story, a poem, a memoir, or a joke? All are valid writing forms but each has its own rules and norms.
Do your jokes have punch? Do your poems sing? Do your memoirs dig deep? And do your stories take the reader on a journey?
3. Revise and edit
You first draft is unlikely to be the best your story could be. Consider different words, different syntax, different punctuation. Move your subject from the beginning to the end. Play around to find what works.
4. Get a second opinion
Write a selection of stories, then share with a trusted friend. A second pair of eyes can quickly help separate the wheat from the chaff.
5. Use writing prompts
Try out different writing prompts to come up with interesting, new ideas.
Original and striking stories will catch the judges eye. Stretch what you can do with six words
6. Proof-read your entry
Check your spellings (British and American English are accepted). Check your punctuation. Check your story “makes sense!”
7. Get topical
The judging can’t help but be drawn to stories that talk about the condition today. Whether it’s the environment, politics, or covid, whatever is affecting people right now is likely to have an advantage.
8. Use all six entries
Every contestant is entitled to 6 entries. But many people do not use all six slots. There is no harm in adding in a more unusual entry, or trying out a different version of your story as another entry rather that wasting a slot.
Having said that, during judging it’s clear that the later entries (fifth or sixth) tend to be weaker. See if you can strengthen those later entries.
9. Only use 6 words
You would be amazed how many entries are disqualified for not meeting the most basic test of a six-word wonder.
Please, for the love of all things good, count your words before clicking enter.
10. Be sure to actually enter the contest
The one way to be certain of NOT winning is to not enter. In the 2021/22 contest over 100 writers had their stories featured in the book – Six Word Stories. The odds of getting shortlisted are higher than you think. Around 1 in 7 people who entered were shortlisted!
I hope this list of 10 ways to improve your chances of winning the Six Word Wonder contest helps.
If you want to learn even more, go to the home of the Six Word Wonder.