OMG! Text story up for £30k story prize

Twenty tales picked for world's richest story prize

Texting has been criticised for everything from hindering literacy to distracting children from reading, but today a story written entirely in text messages has been longlisted for the world's richest prize for a single short story.

'Two Bad Thumbs' by journalist Will Cohu joins 19 other stories on the longlist for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2012, worth £30,000. It tells the story of of a love affair between two people, told through their hastily tapped-out phone messages.

Also in the running are stories by renowned editor and writer Diana Athill, The Revelations author Alex Preston and Orange and Booker-shortlisted author Emma Donoghue.

Judge Melvyn Bragg said: "The novel used to be celebrated for bringing The News and many of these short stories certainly bring, in fiction based on closely observed reality, a fine perception of the way the world is going at the moment."

The shortlist will be announced on 4th March, with the winner crowned on 30th March.

The longlisted stories:

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 Benutti's’
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’