Carry on Bugging!

Is this the secret of Jenn's productivity?

Do you ever feel that you are not sufficiently dedicated to your craft as a writer? Consider, dear Buggers, the steely self-discipline of Jenn Ashworth, who did her overhearing and started writing her Bugged piece whilst actually in maternity hospital. The most important result, known in her award-winning blog as McTiny, is thriving and so is Jenn’s writing. Her second novel Cold Light is set to follow her first, A Kind of Intimacy, onto the shelves of the bookshops next year.

The other result of her stay in hospital, The Wrong Sort of Shoes, is included in our short selection August 23rd along with poems from Alison Brackenbury and Jennifer Copley. These are frequently-published names and we’re delighted that they submitted to Bugged. If our selections seem female-heavy, that’s because the Bugged population is exactly 2/3 women; are the men shy, are they bad at eavesdropping, or does this reflect the genuine proportions of the writerly community?

Don't hang up your listening equipment....

Now – about that book. We’ve used the great e-community to find you lovely writers: and we’re using technology to make a book which will attract new readers. Print-on-demand publishers make self-publishing easy, but they have drawbacks for the individual writer. If you are a brilliant writer who doesn’t fit into the conventions of publishing, this method allows you to get into print, market yourself and become world-famous by sneaking in the back door. However, the sad truth is that many writers who are turned down by publishing houses are not brilliantly unconventional. They are simply Not Very Good. Their manuscripts are not ready for a wider world, and without a publisher to design and market of the book, they are not going to become world-famous after all.

The Great Book of Bugged, professionally edited and designed, should give our writers a leg up and access lots of new readers – starting with fellow Buggers who didn’t make it but want to support those who did! Forgive us if we haven’t yet contacted you to tell you which group you are in – it is taking us a while to get through everyone but you will know by the end of the month.

In the meantime we are still choosing and posting work from the hundreds of submissions you sent us, and will blog again at the weekend. Whether in the book or not, you are free to send your submissions elsewhere (but please mention http://www.bugged.org.uk) . If your fingers are still itching to write, have a look at the BBC’s excellent Writersroom for opportunities and advice – especially for scriptwriters. And tune in at the weekend to read our tenth core writer – that Stuart Maconie off the radio. We think you’ll be surprised to see what he wrote…

...and don't let your keyboard get rusty!

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4 thoughts on “Carry on Bugging!

  1. I think the test of good writing is whether it lingers in the mind and all three pieces in this latest selection certainly do for me.

    I love Jenn’s use of her overhearing, and ‘The Wrong Sort Of Shoes’ reminds me again how good short stories and poetry have much in common, with the flow of words carrying significance beyond the literal. I’m sure you must have had a sense of this in writing your own debut story, Jo, and wonder whether ‘Write About What You Know’ is likely to be followed soon by further excursions into creative prose?

    A discovery for me, writing fiction for Bugged, was how much I enjoyed working in the first person. I’ll employ this again with short stories and flash fiction where limitations of space preclude multiple viewpoints.

    Good luck with the book.

    • Yup – three jolly good pieces. I think I might well have another go at prose, and I’m struck by how many people strayed out of their creative comfort zones during the writing phase of Bugged. Maybe it was a way of being playful – which of course is something we can’t impose on ourselves!

      Jo

  2. Pingback: Hooray! « Jenn Ashworth

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