Some of the most entertaining stories stem from the things we overhear while out in the world, whether it be a humorously perfect snippet of conversation we hear in passing or a quirky sign we suddenly notice while walking a familiar path. The same possibility for interest and laughs happens in the online world. The Eavesdropping section of the New Territory magazine highlights these types of ‘overheard online’ conversations, points of interest, and news events as a fun way to wrap up each issue.


Sometimes we compile a themed collection of short anecdotes or quotes from around the web, as in the Issue 02 ‘Happy Trails’ Eavesdropping segment that focused on trailblazing happening in the Lower Five States—whether that be political races or literal bike trails. One snippet comes from the Omaha World-Herald who reported the positive attitude of State Sen. Robert Hilkermann, injured at the end of a five-week bike ride. “It was fabulous,” Hilkermann told the newspaper, “I’m so grateful it happened 3 miles from the end and not 3 miles from the start.”

Issue 07 highlighted the humorous side of the internet through the best of Google Maps reviews of Lower Midwest Landmarks. One reviewer lets us know they were pleasantly surprised by how impressive their own local landmarks actually are: “I laughed at the thought of the highest waterfall in Nebraska but it was incredibly impressive,” wrote Kevin about Smith Falls State Park in Nebraska.


The upcoming Eavesdropping in Issue 08 follows in the footsteps of Issue 07’s focus on monuments, but with a twist! The newest installment of Eavesdropping follows the unexpected dramas occuring in an email thread from NE Birds, the listserv for Nebraska birders, around bird activity at the Scotts Bluff National Monument in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska. Pre-order a copy of Issue 08 to get your hands on the newest copy and find out what all the bird chatter is about!

But Eavesdropping isn’t just about what the team hears, we want to hear from our readers, too! If you heard about something you think would fit in with the spirit of Eavesdropping, let us know by using the hashtag #territoryeavesdropping to share!

Julia Shiota is a Japanese-American writer and editor whose work centers on questions of identity formation, nationhood, and belonging through the lens of literature. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in English Literature and another in Japanese Studies, both of which provide key methodological approaches to her writing. Her work can be found at