Past-Year Memoir Contest—2017

Past-Year Memoir Contest—2017

We invite you to look back at 2016 and write about it.

Specifically, we want you to tell us a true story from your life in 2016…in only 16 words. (You can use a title, but that will count toward your word limit.)

We want a personal story from your life, which can be hilarious, heartbreaking, puzzling, uplifting, or just plain strange. Look for something intriguing, perhaps something with emotional or intellectual resonance. It’s fine if you want to include current events from the year, as long as it’s mostly about you, or how you feel about it.

Whoever writes the 16-word memoir that most captivates us will win a free Gotham class of his or her choosing.

As inspiration, here are some great examples:

One-way and nonrefundable, the ticket prickled in my pocket, reminding me what I was leaving.
Josh Sippie

We stayed up all night, with glue guns and chalk markers, perfecting, for her special day.
Syeda Lee

I arrived in NYC and insomnia’s racing pulse returned. It wasn’t the city lights, doctor.
Ally Sass

The Details:

  • Submit a 16-word memoir (true story) that reflects on 2016.
  • Entry must consist of no more than 16 words. Longer entries will be disregarded.
  • Entries must be submitted online by midnight Eastern Time, February 20, 2017.
  • Only online entries will be accepted.
  • Entry is free. Limit one entry per person.
  • Entry must be original and unpublished.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, quality, spelling, and grammar.
  • Gotham will post the winning entry at
  • The winner will be notified by March 8, 2017.

The winner gets a free Gotham class of his or her choosing.

Deadline: Monday February 20, 2017, midnight Eastern Time.

The contest is closed.