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The Portobello Public Pencil Sharpening Project

I dropped my son off from nursery one day and happened to spot something unexpected: a pencil sharpener clinging to the side of a post box. Above it was a plaque that read 'Provided for your convenience by the Portobello Public Pencil Sharpening Project.'

Thinking it was charming and fun, I shared my find on Twitter. What ensued will surely be the most popular Tweet of my career.

What I love about this wee art piece is that there's very little information about it or the Portobello Public Pencil Sharpening Project. All I know is that there's at least one other pencil sharpener out there in the wilds of Porty, clinging to one of the sea walls. One day, I hope to spot it. Or even better yet - find another yet undiscovered sharpener waiting to be found.

Angie Spoto is an American fiction writer and poet living in Edinburgh. In 2020, she completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Her doctoral thesis was a fantasy novel, called The Grief Nurse, and a collection of essays on grief, madness and language. The Grief Nurse has been shortlisted for the First Novel Prize 2021 and The Bridge Awards Emerging Writer Award in 2020. Angie is represented by Robbie Guillory from Underline Literary Agency.

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