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2020 Costa Book Awards opens for entries under new director Amanda Johnson

Costa Book Awards
Amanda Johnson

LONDON, UK – Costa Coffee has announced the appointment of Amanda Johnson as the new Director of the Costa Book Awards. She succeeds Bud McLintock, who stepped down from the role after 25 years in February 2020. The news comes as entries go live today for the 2020 Awards cycle.

Johnson, a PR and Communications Director with 20 years’ experience working with consumer brands and book prizes has been Publicity Director of the Costa Book Awards since 2005. Her Prize experience also includes leading the PR for the Women’s Prize for Fiction for 14 years.

Jill McDonald, CEO of Costa Coffee, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Amanda into her new role. She brings with her a huge breadth of awards experience, not least 15 years on the Costa Book Awards, as well as an astute understanding of consumer brands.”

She continued, “Bud McLintock served the Costa Book Awards with great commitment, bringing creativity and foresight to the role. From her work with publishers, authors and booksellers to the creation of the Costa Short Story Award in 2012, she helped to build the prestige and integrity of the Awards year-on-year. We wish Bud well in her future endeavours.”

Amanda Johnson commented: “I’ve loved working on the Costa Book Awards in my role as publicity director and learnt a huge amount from Bud during the 15 years we worked together so it’s a real privilege to step up as overall Director of these prestigious and much-loved Awards. I’m thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Awards into the next phase, as we approach the 50th year in 2021 and its continued success beyond.”

She continued, “The awards have a great track record for recognising and rewarding brilliant books with broad appeal – I can’t wait to see the judges choices later this year and to shine a light on some of the most outstanding books and terrific reads of 2020 that readers will want to talk about, recommend and most importantly, this year more than ever, enjoy.”

Entry forms for the 2020 Costa Book Awards are now available from The Booksellers Association. Books first published in the UK and Ireland between 1st November 2019 and 31st October 2020 are eligible. The deadline for entry is 30th June. Please contact Naomi Gane at [email protected] to request an entry form or for more information.

Launched in 1971 and known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, the Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and uniquely recognises some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.

Johnson will be supported during the 2020 cycle by newly-appointed culture and entertainment specialist PR agency, Riot Communications who will work in partnership with digital creative agency The Ten Group to implement a fully-rounded PR and social media campaign for the Awards. Goose Live Events will deliver the awards ceremony and The Booksellers Association administer the Awards.

Costa Book Awards

Awards timetable

  • Tuesday 24th November 2020: Category shortlists announced (4 books per category).
  • Monday 4th January 2021: Category Award Winners announced (1 book per category).
  • Tuesday 26th January 2021: Costa Book of the Year (selected from five Costa Award Winners) and winner of Costa Short Story Award announced.