OMG: Text speak short story in running for £30,000 prize
AN author who has written in text message shorthand could soon be all smiley faces and LOLs after finding himself in the running for the world's richest short story prize.
Will Cohu's story Two Bad Thumbs is pitted against literary heavyweights such as We Need To Talk About Kevin writer Lionel Shriver and former Costa Book Award winner Diana Athill.
They feature on a longlist of 20 titles competing for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2012, which is worth £30,000 to the winner.
Journalist and novelist Cohu - twice shortlisted for the award - has written his story using text messages to create a seedy tale of an affair unravelling.
The judging panel for the awards includes Lord Bragg, Hanif Kureishi and the actor Ian Hart.
Five other shortlisted writers each receive £1,000 through the award, which is administered by literary charity Booktrust.
Lord Bragg said: "The most striking thing about the haul of entries this year was the wide range - not only in geography but also, and perhaps consequently, in subject matter."
The shortlist is announced on March 4 and the winner on March 30.
The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2012 longlist:
Diana Athill - A Hopeless Case
Kevin Barry - Beer Trip to Llandudno
Evgenia Citkowitz - Business Class
Will Cohu - Two Bad Thumbs
Emma Donoghue - The Hunt
Jackie Kay - These Are Not My Clothes
A L Kennedy - Late in Life
Jean Kwok - Where the Gods Fly
Barrie de Lara - Dinner at Benuttis
Tom Lee - The Current
Toby Litt - The Sandy
Alison MacLeod - The Heart of Denis Noble
Martin Malone - Valley of the Peacock Angel
Robert Minhinnick - El Aziz: Some Pages From His Notebooks
Linda Oatman High - Nickel Mines Hardware
Alison Pimlott - Five Year Diary
Tamara Pollock - Elsa
Alex Preston - The Bridge Over Shuto Expressway No. 1
Lionel Shriver - Prepositions
Johanna Skibsrud - Fat Man and Little Boy