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Bugged, not Spied


Bugged is the brainchild of  Jo Bell and David Calcutt. Basically, they’re asking writers throughout the UK to eavesedrop on conversations tomorrow — 1 July 2010 — and submit to them poetry or fiction based on our overhearings. The best work will appear on the website and the best of the best in a Bugged anthology. The submission deadline is 15 August 2010 and, if you miss tomorrow’s B-day, you can still take your earwigging part (as long you keep it hush-hush and don’t tell your handler). Jo and David are hoping for a good crop of submissions from Scotland.

It’s got me thinking about how little I’ve used eavesdropping in my work. Tomorrow, of course, I’ll be at my day job in the Scottish Parliament. Perhaps it’s partly because of the intense listening that job involves that I find myself not listening to other folks’ conversations the way a writer maybe should. Perhaps sitting with headphones clamped to my head most of the day plays into the part of me that likes to bathe in my own wee world. Maybe that’s no bad thing for a poet, with poetry’s focus on language being at a somewhat more abstract level that fiction’s, or maybe I’m missing a trick. Maybe tomorrow will tell me a thing or too on that front.

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