The following post was contributed by London based writer Evan Smythe.
A new initiative from a writers’ collective encourages UK writers to pen stories, flash fiction and poetry based on overheard conversations, with the best to be published in an anthology. The Bugged organisers want to stimulate discussion on privacy and creativity in contemporary culture.
“Welcome to BUGGED, a fantastic new writing project for summer 2010. This is how it works:
1 On July 1st 2010, go forth and…. eavesdrop! Wherever you are – in the British Museum or Bradford bus station, in your office, the pub, on the train – listen in to conversations and fragments of speech around you. Be discreet. Try not to get punched.
2 Write a new piece of work based on what you hear. We want poems of up to 60 lines, stories up to 1000 words, flash fiction up to 150 words, scripts up to 5 minutes long. Our favourite recent overhearing is ‘I think it was the turtles that did for her eventually.’ Yours may be tragical, farcical, touching or mundane. You don’t have to quote your overhearing directly – it might just be a starting point for your piece.
3 Submit it to us by email after July 1st, and before August 15th. The sooner the better because….
4 …the best incoming work will be posted on this blog. The earlier it arrives, the better chance you have of beating the crowd. Some very fine writers are already sharpening their pencils – see 5, below.
5 The very best of the work submitted will be published in a printed anthology, alongside well-known names like Jenn Ashworth, Ian Marchant and Daljit Nagra. The book will be launched in October at Manchester Literature Festival and Birmingham Book Festival, and you’ll be able to buy it online.
So clean out your ears and get ready for July 1st. Spread the word so that we have the best pool of writers to draw from. Some of you will write lighter stuff, some will write life-changing material. Some of you have been writing for years; some just started. We are ready for it all.
Join our Facebook Page (Bugged), or follow us on Twitter (as BuggedProject). Get talking to each other. Where are you planning to listen in? What have you heard lately on the bus or in the queue for a coffee? Send us a picture of a good place to eavesdrop – tell us about your funniest or most tragic overhearing – let us know that you’re taking part – and pass on the news to your writing contacts. And keep those overhearings real please. Why make them up when there is so much real-life material?
This is a new kind of writing project. We want to showcase the very best writing, so that established writers can enjoy a new challenge, and new writers can get into print alongside well-known names. But we also want to have fun, and to create a thriving community of writers. Come on in…. and bring your notebook.”
Visit BUGGED for examples from the Bugged Initiative.