The Eavesdropper’s Digest

And about bloody time too, you are no doubt thinking; what have they been doing? Well, we’ve been formatting the Great Book of Bugged, which is almost fit to print now. If you didn’t make it into the book, we know you are disappointed but we love and adore you with a passion we can barely express. Whether you’re in the book or not we’d love to link people to your work – if you have the technology, why not make a video? Sarah James did and it’s here…

Mil Millington is threatening to do a video too. His piece The Select has a cast of thousands, not to mention a lot of horses, so we are all agog to see what he comes up with. Perhaps he is intending to film his second piece from the book, It’s Always 11.15, which is set in a classroom and contains no horses at all, just an imagined frog.

In the meantime our last core writer has come up with the goods. Stuart Maconie, brilliant DJ on Radio 2 and 6 Music, best-selling author and keen fell-walker, surprised us and apparently himself by coming up with a long poem. ‘It’s a bit serious,’ said he apologetically. We don’t mind that a bit. Part of the pleasure of Bugged has been to see established writers coaxed into new forms, and new writers encouraged to ‘come out’ at last, by the demands of an overheard phrase. Click here on Not a Girl – Stuart Maconie to read it, and to see how different it is from Stuart’s style in his books like Pies and Prejudice. And click here to see what he’s up to at the moment, as he films for a new DVD of Lakeland walks.

We’ve got something else you might like too. We asked what you’d like to see on the blog, and several of you suggested a sort of digest of all your overhearings so far. We hate to see you cry, so here it is: in a radical departure from our previous titling style, we’ve called it Bugged – overheard comments and there are some corkers in there. Have a look and see if your own is on it. Do pass them on, use them to prompt a new piece of writing, or if you run writing workshops yourself, use them there as a spark to new writing. We’ve missed a few off, but there should be enough here to get you thinking.

We’re keeping Bugged alive in other ways too: David Calcutt and Jacqui Rowe are reading their pieces at the next Poetry Bites evening in Birmingham, Julie Boden is seeing if she can incorporate it into her work with schools and orchestras in the West Midlands, and some of you are planning ‘Bugged’ evenings where everyone who took part can read, and others can read anything based on overhearings. Got any other bright ideas? Bring’em on if so…

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All Ears



Well, the submissions are really starting to roll, stream, flood and rush in  now. There are so many, in fact, that it’s not possible to publish all the new ones in today’s post. So here is a selection, from Maggie Doyle, Siobhan Harper, Sarah James, Alex Kaminsky, Anna Lindsay, Lynda Nash and Mark Niel. You’ll see that we’ve also started to received prose and dialogue pieces, as well as poetry, and this is reflected in today’s selection, which you can read by clicking here July 4th. We’d just like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who’s submitted so far, and so to say how thrilled we are, not only by the number of pieces we’ve received already, but by their variety and the high standard of the writing.  It really is impressive. And remember, if you’ve already submitted a piece, you can submit again, as many as you wish, up to August 15th. But please do submit using the form on our submissions page.

Now, on to the readings, which begin with a piece that’s particularly apt for today’s Wimbledon Finals. “New balls, please!”

Superbugs!

Bugging aids...

Blimey. Some of you didn’t sleep last night; you were up writing your submissions for Bugged. As it happens, the earliest people to submit were all poets. We are showing you six of them – Stephen Beattie, Annie McGann, Kate Noakes, Sarah James, Paula Ward and Helen Addy.

WordPress is itself a bit of a bugger and won’t allow us to format poetry properly (now they tell us!) So these poems are just a couple of clicks away – but they are worth it. Click here on our file called (inspiringly) 2nd July to read the poems and see the quality of work we’re attracting. Some of these poets wrote directly from their overhearing, including it right in the body of the poem – others used it just as a spark or starting point. They give us a range of voices, all rather contemplative. What a fantastic start to Bugged – we are delighted, moved, and if we’re honest, a bit relieved that some of you really are sending work in. If you are thinking of writing something very different, don’t be put off – we can do funny, light, bawdy as well as serious, thoughtful, wistful!

Of course, most of you haven’t thought of submitting yet; you have till August 15th, and you can do your overhearing any time from now on. There are two common queries so far. First, how do you submit? Answer – go to the Submission Form page, downloading the form and emailing submit@bugged.org.uk. Note – it’s ORG, not CO.UK or .COM or anything like that. Second – ‘if you didn’t hear anything interesting’ or you missed yesterday for any other reason, don’t panic! You can do your overhearing at any time, so long as your work is with us by noon on August 15th. Look at FAQ for word limits and other queries. And bear in mind that we won’t be able to acknowledge every entry, or tell you when it’s up – just keep your eyes on this blog and we will tell you when the next post is coming.

There will be another post on Sunday (including a topical tennis poem) but keep listening, keep writing and keep submitting – we want to be swamped by brilliant new work. Thanks so much to the precocious Buggers who submitted so early. Keep checking back here for new writing – and keep Bugging.

Now then prose writers…. where are you?