Costa Book Awards Announced

February 12, 2009

The Costa Book Awards is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognizes some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The Costa Book Awards has five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. The winner in each category receives £5,000. One of these five books is selected as the overall winner of the Book of the Year and receives a further £25,000, making a total prize fund of £50,000. It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.

Since the introduction of the overall Book of the Year Award in 1985, it has been won seven times by a novel, three times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book. Recent winners include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, Beowulf by Seamus Heaney, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, Small Island by Andrea Levy, biographies of Pepys and Matisse by Claire Tomalin and Hilary Spurling respectively and, most recently, Stef Penney’s first novel – The Tenderness of Wolves, and A.L. Kennedy’s Day.

This year’s category winners are:
Novel: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry which also won the Book Of The Year

First Novel: The Outcast by Sadie Jones

Biography: Somewhere Towards The End by Diana Athill

Poetry: The Broken Word by Adam Foulds

Children’s Book: Just Henry by Michelle Magorian