London, UK – Costa announces the Costa Book Awards 2015 winners in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book categories. 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 the UK’s most prestigious book prize in 2006. 2015 marks the 44th year of the Book Awards.
The five winning authors who will now compete for the 2015 Costa Book of the Year are:
Former teacher and librarian, Andrew Michael Hurley, who wins the Costa First Novel Award with his debut, The Loney, a slow-burn gothic horror story the judges called ‘as close to the perfect first novel as you can get’
Kate Atkinson, who takes the Costa Novel Award – her second time in three years – for A God in Ruins; the companion novel to Life After Life, winner of the 2013 Costa Novel Award. Atkinson won the Whitbread Book of the Year in 1995 for her debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Historian and writer Andrea Wulf who triumphs in the Costa Biography Award category for The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Lost Hero of Science, the story of the life of the visionary German naturalist (Napoleon was jealous of him, and Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of him) whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world and who, in the process, created modern environmentalism
Scottish poet Don Paterson who, 12 years after he first won the Poetry Award, collects it again this year for his ‘tour de force’ collection, 40 Sonnets
Young Adult fiction and children’s writer Frances Hardinge, who wins the Children’s Book Award with The Lie Tree, a ghost story.
“The Costa Book Awards have an extraordinary track record of recognising and celebrating some of the best and most enjoyable British books,” said Christopher Rogers, Managing Director of Costa, “so it’s fantastic to be announcing another stellar collection of award winners which we know people will absolutely love reading.”
The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 638 entries, and the books are now eligible for the ultimate prize – the 2015 Costa Book of the Year.
The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by James Heneage, and comprising authors and category judges Louise Doughty, Matt Haig, Penny Junor, Martyn Bedford and Julia Copus, joined by Katy Brand, Jane Asher and Janet Ellis, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino’s in central London on Tuesday 26th January 2016.
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 Helen Macdonald.
The winner of the Costa Short Story Award – voted for by the general public and now in its fourth year – will also be announced at the awards ceremony. Voting is open until Wednesday 13th January until which time the identity of the six shortlisted authors remains anonymous.