A Norfolk author has seen her career take a major upward turn after being named on the shortlist for a prestigious British book award.

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Author and part-time English teacher at Paston College, Hayley Long, has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards. Hayley, front centre, is pictured with a class of English students at Paston College. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY.Author and part-time English teacher at Paston College, Hayley Long, has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards. Hayley, front centre, is pictured with a class of English students at Paston College. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY.

Hayley Tomlinson, who writes under the name Hayley Long, is in the final four for the 2012 Costa Children’s Book Award for her book, What’s Up With Jody Barton?

The 41-year-old, who teaches A-Level English at Paston Sixth-Form College in North Walsham and lives in Old Catton, is among the final four of 119 entries for the award and is delighted.

She said: “It is just beyond what I could have dreamed! I heard a week ago but I was not allowed to tell anyone until the shortlist was announced on Radio Four.

“There are five categories, each with four books. So the Costa awards are quite unique in that way because I could end up being pitted against Hilary Mantel, who has won two Booker Prizes.”

The author, who was born in Ipswich and grew up in Felixstowe, now has to wait until Wednesday, January 2 to discover if she has won her category, and its £5,000 prize.

While the overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2012 will win £30,000 and will be selected and announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday January 29.

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