SixContest Winners! Our top 6 “firsts” in six words

Top Family Stories In Six Words


The personal histories that shape our families reach far and wide. For SixContest #77 — inspired by Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin star Diane Guerrero’s new memoir, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided — we invited you to share your own family stories in just six words. Each family is a collection of journeys (“Left everything behind. Crossed oceans. Lived.” —@MaggyTheBrave via Twitter). Some families are defined by adversity (“In the shadow of the Holocaust.” —Frieda W. Landau via Facebook), others by hope (“Homesteaders, refugees, immigrants. Moved for opportunity.”
—@EugeneEvon via Twitter, Ed. Note: click link for the accompanying photo). In some cases, these bonds transcend genetics (“Our tie was love, not blood.” —Maeva). These family stories show our progress as a society (“Black and white – hazardous in 1962.” —AmisReklaw), yet challenges remain (“Father of 5 is facing deportation.” —@ChannonFranco, Ed. Note: click link for the accompanying photo). Your narratives remind us that our individual families are unique, but the notion of family is universal (“Just like everyone else’s family: Different.” —DaniaA).

As a member of the Six Words family, Diane Guerrero joined us to select these favorites — our Top Six contributors will receive a SIGNED COPY of her book, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.

Among the hundreds of #MyFamilyStoryIn6Words entries, these Top Six memoirs are standouts:

6. Half Devil’s Island, half Plymouth Rock.” —zsuzsu
[Ed. Note: see below for backstory]

5. “Blood unites us, perspective divides us.” —aperte415

4. “Mom, therapist. Dad, restauranteur. Me, anorexia.” —BigMammaPetunia
[Ed. Note: see below for backstory]

3. “Adopted at birth. Loved in advance.” —Susan_Breeden

2. “Multicultural kids, raised as world citizens.” —Stella_Matutina

And the family narrative that rises to the top of our list:

1. “From steerage to college, two generations.” —@carolmcc13 via Twitter

Backstory from zsuzsu: “This was one of my first Memoirs in 2012. Mom’s family has Captain Alfred Dreyfus in it; Dad’s has father and son Mayflower pilgrims surnamed Rogers.”

Backstory from BigMammaPetunia: “I climbed my way out after over a decade, which included eight weeks in an in-patient hospital rehab program during my 20’s. Of course, my parents’ jobs had little to do with my eating disorder, which was my way of creating “order” in a chaotic family where I was the grown-up. When I got pregnant with my daughter, which took two years and a host of fertility treatments after beating up my body for so long, I swore to nurture a home where “fat” and “diet” were never mentioned, where all bodies are beautiful and, more importantly, heart and soul are cherished and embraced. I am proud to say that my daughter, now a college sophomore, has always had a very healthy sense of self – she is wholeheartedly kick ass. I was able to right the wrongs of my own childhood and although I am far from a perfect parent, I feel pretty darn good about the way my own family is evolving. And I am grateful every single day.”

Congratulations to @carolmcc13 and thanks to all who participated! We’ll be reaching out to all six winners shortly regarding their prizes. Whether in our SixContests, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or at—keep on Sixing!


  • zsuzsa
    June 22, 2016

    Yay! Thanks for the mention and the book, SWM!

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