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Blogging book competition hots up
Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 00:03 GMT 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4780774.stm

Russell Davies celebrates the traditional British cafe in his blog

The first short-list for a literary prize that rewards bloggers  
turned bookwriters has been announced.

Dubbed the Blooker Prize, the contest is for those bloggers who have  
turned their episodic journals into something more substantial.

British entries on the Blooker short-list include the intimate diary  
of a prostitute and a guide to the UK's best "greasy spoon" cafes.

The first winner of the Blooker Prize will be announced on 3 April.

Cafe culture

The Blooker Prize was first suggested in October 2005 and was the  
creation of Bob Young, founder of self-publishing site Lulu which  
sponsors the prize.

In the last few years, regularly updated web logs - or blogs - have  
become a major feature on the internet and now there are believed to  
be more than 60 million of them in existence.

There are blogs on any and every subject and many of the writers  
behind blogs have found their passions for a particular subject and  
writing style has won them a regular and appreciative audience.



There's definitely a romance to cafes. Once there you can easily get  
yourself into the frame of mind that you are about to start a novel

Russell Davies

Some blogs or their authors have become so popular that they have  
turned to traditional print to collect their thoughts or explore  
their interest at greater length.

Books from blogs, or "blooks", were becoming hugely popular, said Mr  
Young.

Any blook published in English anywhere in the world before the  
deadline of 30 January 2006 was eligible for entry.

A total of 89 entries made it to the Lulu Blooker's long-list and  
this has been whittled down to just 16 that will compete for the  
prize money.

The entries are arranged into three categories - fiction, non-fiction  
and comics - and the winners of two of these sections get a cash  
prize of £550 ($1,000). The winner of the grand prize gets a cash  
prize of £1,100 ($2,000).

The short-list is dominated by US entries but the UK has two strong  
contenders in the running. One is notorious Belle De Jour, who blogs  
about life as a prostitute.

The other contender is Russell Davies, who turned his affection for  
"greasy spoon" cafes into a blog called eggbaconchipsandbeans and a  
book detailing the 50 best cafes in the UK.

"I was looking for something to blog about that was not a picture of  
a cat," Mr Davies told the BBC News website, explaining his choice of  
subject matter.

"I'm drawn to a full English," he said, referring to the colloquial  
term for a fried breakfast.

"There's definitely a romance to cafes. Once there, you can easily  
get yourself into the frame of mind that you are about to start a  
novel."

Co-judging the event are writer and activist Cory Doctorow, Robin  
Miller, editor-in-chief of online publisher OSTG and Paul Jones,  
director of Ibiblio.