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Costa Book Awards 2015 shortlists announced

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The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of one of the UK’s most prestigious book prizes in 2006. 2015 marks the 44th year of the Book Awards.

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This year’s Costa Book Awards attracted 638 entries. Judges on this year’s panels (three per category) included writers Matt Haig, Louise Doughty and Martyn Bedford, poet and children’s author Julia Copus and biographer and broadcaster Penny Junor.

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Monday 4th January 2016. The overall winner of the 2015 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and will be selected and announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 26th January 2016.

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“The quality and breadth of talent and writing in this year’s lists is staggering and there is something here for everyone,” commented Christopher Rogers, Managing Director of Costa. “I’m looking forward to reading the books and don’t envy the judges task of whittling these fantastic shortlists down to just one winner per category.”

The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony. The shortlisted six stories for the Costa Short Story Award, now in its fourth year, will be revealed on the Costa Book Awards website,, on Monday 30th November.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won eleven times by a novel, five times by a first novel, six times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book. The 2014 Costa Book of the Year was H is for Hawk by writer, poet and historian, Helen Macdonald.

To be eligible for the 2015 Costa Book Awards, books must have been first published in the

UK or Ireland between 1 November 2014 and 31 October 2015 and their authors resident in the UK for the previous three years.

Full details of the shortlists follow.

For additional information please visit

Twitter: @CostaBookAwards

2015 Costa Novel Award shortlist (author – title – publisher)

Kate Atkinson A God in Ruins – Doubleday
Anne Enright The Green Road – Jonathan Cape
Patrick Gale A Place Called Winter – Tinder Press
Melissa Harrison At Hawthorn Time – Bloomsbury

2015 Costa First Novel Award shortlist

Sara Baume Spill Simmer Falter Wither – Windmill Books
Kate Hamer The Girl in the Red Coat – Faber & Faber
Andrew Michael Hurley The Loney – John Murray
Tasha Kavanagh Things We Have in Common – Canongate

2015 Costa Biography Award shortlist

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland – Harvill Secker
Thomas Harding The House by the Lake – William Heinemann
Ruth Scurr John Aubrey: My Own Life – Chatto & Windus
Andrea Wulf The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science – John Murray

2015 Costa Poetry Award shortlist

Andrew McMillan Physical -Jonathan Cape
Kate Miller The Observances – Carcanet
Don Paterson 40 Sonnets – Faber & Faber
Neil Rollinson Talking Dead – Jonathan Cape

2015 Costa Children’s Book Award shortlist

Frances Hardinge The Lie Tree – Macmillan Children’s Books
Hayley Long Sophie Someone – Hot Key Books
Sally Nicholls An Island of Our Own – Scholastic
Andrew Norriss Jessica’s Ghost – David Fickling Books

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