Generally I don’t recommend write-to-order exercises – but this sounds fantastic.
On 1 July, writers across the UK are being asked to eavesdrop and to (discreetly) collect snippets of conversations. Once they’ve done their collecting, the Bugged initiative wants them to write a new piece of work based on what they’ve heard – poems of up to 60 lines, stories up to 1,000 words, flash fiction up to 150 words, scripts up to five minutes long – with the best to be posted on the Bugged blog, and the very best to be published in October in a printed anthology alongside the likes of Daljit Nagra and Jenn Ashworth. ‘I’m really excited about this, and have spent some of my time languishing in waiting rooms, hospital wards, clinics and pharmacies scribbling down my overhearings for this project,’ blogs Ashworth. ‘Can’t wait to read yours.’
Core Bugged writers include Stuart Maconie, Mil Millington, Mary Cutler and Ian Marchant, but we’re all invited to take part – the Bugged organisers hope the project will ‘bring writers out of their sweaty garrets and into the streets and coffee houses’ and ‘raise issues of privacy and creativity’.
Get out there – and listen to the human music.