A month and a day to go to the Bugged deadline, and we hear keyboards clicking all over the country. There’s loads of good writing to enjoy today – it’s really getting tough to decide what to leave out.
Two of our core writers have coughed up – Ian Marchant’s is a prose piece, and David Gaffney got so carried away that he gave us a series of three micro-stories based on different overhearings. We’ll post both of these soon. Jenn Ashworth, who only gave birth last week, is getting on with hers too. Congrats to Jenn not only on the arrival of McTiny, but also on the announcement that her second novel Cold Light will be published by Sceptre next year.
The best of the recent submissions from readers and writers across the UK are bundled into today’s selection, titled (in our usual blockbuster style) July 14th. We have work from Ray Morgan, Peter Wild, Sarah Gallagher, Norman Hadley and (in extract) Christine Howe. What have you especially enjoyed so far? Let us know in Comments.
We’re loving Bugged. We are stunned by your enthusiasm, your talent, the variety of your work – and also by the difficulty some of you have in following our simple rules. So here it is you naughty Buggers: NO, you can’t submit work and then withdraw it because you wrote ‘bumblebee’ when you meant ‘wasp’. NO, you can’t write 1056 words when the limit is 1000 words (we have Word Count too). YES, it has to be a Word file (ending in .DOC). We really don’t accept .RTF files, Mac Pages files, or anything else. If you haven’t got Word, then you need to convert it before you send it to us. The tiresome business of making a living means we just don’t have time to convert them for you, or to contact you about doing so. Use our Submission Form, and make sure you’ve put your own details in there – name, address etc. This
way, we can print them all off in the same format on August 16th, install ourselves at Bugged Towers with a big tin of biscuits and a large gin, and argue about which ones go into the book.
After that stern telling off, here’s a spoonful of sugar. We’ve got a copy of The Writer’s Block to give away. It’s a little fat book whose every page has a spark idea to get you writing. ‘Virus’ is one. ‘Write about your greatest childhood fear’ is another. To win it…. well, since Jo is currently reading J B Priestley’s Delight, we want you to tell us what delights you. Tell us via Comments, here on the blog – in no more than ten words. The one that delights us most before Sunday morning will get the book, and be announced on the midweek blog.
[*only for those of us who have to choose between these submissions.]
Opening her mail, her smile and voice in every word.
I’ve enjoyed everything . . . But particularly: Brenda Ray’s Norwich toilets, Ruskin Brown’s Up in the Air, Ray Morgan’s Sonny, PL Wild’s Fire and Ice, and Sarah Gallagher’s Youth.
Holding a china cup, breathing the scent of Earl Grey.
Photograph of her wearing carefree grin and beloved red shoes.
The piece I keep coming back to, my especial favourite, is Liz Loxley’s poem ‘Lacuna’.
The light and the colour of the trees some mornings.
What delights me?
The warmth of the pavement after a hot summer’s day.
What delights me?
New book smell beckons
Sharing an umbrella,
rain slanting through lamplight,
belting over cobbles.
Swimming through custard, finding no sharks.
Waking up in my own bed, to the words:
“I thought you’d slept long enough, cup of tea darling?”
The serendipity of finding a tenner in road
and finding stories in unexpected places.
Delight: the world seen with a mind reawakened by attention.