Literature: Hemingway's Six Word Story

"For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn."

A piece of Flash Fiction allegedly written by Ernest Hemingway. It probably isn't: The idea of an ad that indirectly hints at the death of a baby is at least as old as a human interest story in a 1910 newspaper, and has been tossed around as an anecdote or story idea long before it was connected to Hemingway.

The oldest source that attributes the story with the quoted wording to Hemingway (who supposedly scribbled it on a napkin to win a bet) is found in the 1991 self-help book Get Published! Get Produced! A Literary Agent's Tips on How to Sell Your Writing by Peter Miller, who claimed he heard the story from a "well-established newspaper syndicator" in 1974. This origin tale was further popularized by the 1996 biographic play Papa.

Snopes has more information on it.

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