The Summer of Bugged

Ah, hello. Come on in. What kept you so long?

Going to a festival? Take your ears with you

Bugged is just over a week old, and already there are hundreds of us on board for the liveliest writing project of summer 2010. To all the newbies, we say Welcome – whether you found us through the Guardian Books Blog, or other kind links like this one from Claire Conlon which also includes other writing deadlines. If you just found us then have a look here to find out how Bugged works. Find us on Facebook (we are a Page, called Bugged) or Twitter (as BuggedProject). Get listening, get talking.

For those old lags who have been following us since… er… last week, thank you for helping us to spread news of Bugged. You’ve already shared some marvellous overhearings – perfect material for sparking off a poem, a story or a script. Some are comical:

“She’s got a boyfriend at last.”
“That’s good!”
“Yes, but he’s short.”
“Oh I am sorry.”

Some are intriguing… ‘What’s the only word in the English language that ends in MT?’ asks a pub landlord. Answers in the next post…. or find Bugged on Facebook to read the answer.

But there are potentially tragic ones too. ‘I’ve been pregnant before, it was no big deal,’ says a schoolgirl on a bus. Another person says, ‘When it was over I didn’t wash for six months afterwards. I lived in a toilet and drank alcohol.’ There are huge stories behind these tiny soundbites. Make sure that your work does them justice, brings them alive – and keeps them anonymous.

Most unsettling of all, a conversation about Bugged itself was overheard on a bus today. We hadn’t foreseen that we might be victims of our own surveillance team.

Keep those overhearings coming in and do have a bash at our nano-survey to tell us where you’ll be on National Eavesdropping Day.

Jo Bell

4 thoughts on “The Summer of Bugged

  1. In practice for July 1, a conversation I overheard in the swimming pool changing rooms, as close to word for word as memory allows. (And i’m only guessing the younger/older women bit from the actual speech as I didn’t see the ‘talkers’.)

    older woman: Well, I’m glad someone was here.

    younger woman: She did send a text last night.

    older woman: I don’t really check my email. Or text.

    younger woman: She didn’t send it till late. And I sent one saying I was coming.

    older woman: If I make an arrangement, I don’t really expect people to…


  2. So what did you overhear about Bugged?

    My favourite ever overheard line: “but there AREN’T any bears in my garden!”

  3. Pingback: Elephant Spoon Thieving – The Poplar Tree debuts in print format (online) but it’s a start « The Poplar Tree

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