Costa Book Awards
The Costa Book Awards are a set of annual literary awards recognising English-language books by writers based in Britain and Ireland. They were inaugurated for 1971 publications and known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006 when Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The companion Costa Short Story Award was established in 2012.
The awards are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.
In 1989, controversy erupted when the judges first awarded the Best Novel prize to Alexander Stuart's The War Zone, then withdrew the prize prior to the ceremony amid acrimony among the judges, ultimately awarding it to Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding.
Authors need not be British or Irish but they must have been resident in the UK or Ireland for at least six months in each of the previous three years.
There are five book award categories, without change since the Poetry Award was introduced in 1985, although the children's category has been termed "children's novel" or "children's book of the year".
- First novel
- Children's book
The winning books are selected from shortlists by five distinct panels of judges. Each of the five winning writers receives £5,000.
One of the winning books is then named Costa Book of the Year with a further £25,000 prize. That overall award is determined by a panel comprising five judges from the first round and four new ones.
- Short story
The short story award was established in 2012 with a prize of £3,500. The winning story is determined by public vote from a shortlist of six that are selected by a panel of judges. The process is "blind" at both stages for the unpublished entries are anonymous until the conclusion.
In the inaugural year, the six short story finalists had been published anonymously online by 28 November 2012 and the public vote was underway. The winner was to be announced 29 January 2013.
- First Novel Award – Zadie Smith, White Teeth
- Novel Award – Matthew Kneale, English Passengers
- Children's Book Award – Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy
- Poetry Award – John Burnside, The Asylum Dance
- Biography Award – Lorna Sage, Bad Blood – A Memoir
- First Novel Award – Sid Smith, Something Like A House
- Novel Award – Patrick Neate, Twelve Bar Blues
- Children's Book Award – Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
- Poetry Award – Selima Hill, Bunny
- Biography Award – Diana Souhami, Selkirk's Island
- First Novel Award – Norman Lebrecht, The Song of Names
- Novel Award – Michael Frayn, Spies
- Children's Book Award – Hilary McKay, Saffy's Angel
- Poetry Award – Paul Farley, The Ice Age
- Biography Award – Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
- First Novel Award – DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
- Novel Award – Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- Children's Book Award – David Almond, The Fire-Eaters
- Poetry Award – Don Paterson, Landing Light
- Biography Award – DJ Taylor, Orwell: The Life
- First Novel Award – Susan Fletcher, Eve Green
- Novel Award – Andrea Levy, Small Island
- Children's Book Award – Geraldine McCaughrean, Not the End of the World
- Poetry Award – Michael Symmons Roberts, Corpus
- Biography Award – John Guy, My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots
- First Novel Award – Tash Aw, The Harmony Silk Factory
- Novel Award – Ali Smith, The Accidental
- Children's Book Award – Kate Thompson, The New Policeman
- Poetry Award – Christopher Logue, Cold Calls
- Biography Award – Hilary Spurling, Matisse the Master
- First Novel Award – Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves
- Novel Award — William Boyd, Restless
- Children's Book Award — Linda Newbery, Set in Stone
- Poetry Award — John Haynes, Letter to Patience
- Biography Award — Brian Thompson, Keeping Mum
- First Novel Award – Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost
- Novel Award — A.L. Kennedy, Day
- Children's Book Award — Ann Kelley, The Bower Bird
- Poetry Award — Jean Sprackland, Tilt
- Biography Award — Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin
- First Novel Award — Sadie Jones, The Outcast
- Novel Award — Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture
- Children's Book Award — Michelle Magorian, Just Henry
- Poetry Award — Adam Foulds, The Broken Word
- Biography Award — Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End
- First Novel Award — Raphael Selbourne, Beauty
- Novel Award — Colm Tóibin, Brooklyn
- Children's Book Award — Patrick Ness,The Ask and the Answer
- Poetry Award — Christopher Reid, A Scattering
- Biography Award — Graham Farmelo, The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius
- First Novel Award — Kishwar Desai, Witness the Night
- Novel Award — Maggie O'Farrell, The Hand That First Held Mine
- Children's Book Award — Jason Wallace, Out of Shadows
- Poetry Award — Jo Shapcott, Of Mutability
- Biography Award — Edmund de Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes
- First Novel Award — Christie Watson, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
- Novel Award — Andrew Miller, Pure
- Children's Book Award — Moira Young, Blood Red Road
- Poetry Award — Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees
- Biography Award — Matthew Hollis, Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas
- First Novel Award — Francesca Segal, The Innocents
- Novel Award — Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies
- Children's Book Award — Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon
- Poetry Award — Kathleen Jamie, The Overhaul
- Biography Award — Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
- Short Story Award — Avril Joy, "Millie and Bird"
- Novel Award — Kate Atkinson, Life after Life
- Poetry Award — Michael Symmons Roberts, Drysalter
- Children's Book Award — Chris Riddell, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
- Best First Novel — Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall
- Biography Award — Lucy Hughes-Hallet, The Pike
- Short Story Award – Angela Readman, "The Keeper of the Jackalopes"
The winning short story and two runners-up were selected by a public vote from six nominees that were anonymously published online.
- List of British literary awards
- List of literary awards
- English literature
- British literature
- List of years in literature
- (past_winners_complete_list.pdf). Costa Book Awards. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- (past_shortlists_complete_list.pdf). Costa Book Awards. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Alison Flood (17 July 2012). "Costa's new short story award to be judged anonymously". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Alison Flood (28 November 2012). "Costa short story prize to be decided by public vote". Alison Flood. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "Costa Short Story Award". Costa Book Awards. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Former winners recapture Costa prize". BBC News. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- Official website
- Injecting Caffeine Into the Whitbread (Now Costa) Book Awards at The Book Standard[dead link]
- Costa Book Awards directory at The Guardian newspaper