Costa Book Awards Category Winners Announced

January 11, 2012

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

It’s unique for having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.

The winner in each category receives £5,000, and then one of the five winning books is selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year, receiving a further £30,000, and making a total prize fund of £55,000. The Costa is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.

The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership from Whitbread.

The 2011 Category winners were announced earlier this month.  The five category winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 568 entries.  The five successful authors who will now compete for the 2011 Costa Book of the Year are:

Biography:  Poet and debut biographer Matthew Hollis for his first work of prose,  Now All Roads Leads to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas.

Novel:  Andrew Miller for his sixth novel,  Pure.

First Novel:  Debut novelist and former Great Ormond Street nurse, Christie Watson for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away.

Poetry:  Carol Ann Duffy for The Bees, her first collection since being appointed Poet Laureate in 2009.

Children’s Book:  Former opera singer and debut children’s writer, Moira Young for Blood Red Road, currently being adapted for film by Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s production company.

The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by Editor of the London Evening Standard, Geordie Greig and
comprising Hugh Dennis, Dervla Kirwan, Mary Nightingale, William Fiennes, Flora Fraser, Patrick Gale,
Jojo Moyes and Eleanor Updale, will be announced on Tuesday 24th January 2012.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four
times by a first novel, five times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a
children’s book. The 2010 Costa Book of the Year was Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott.