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Costa Book Awards 2016 Shortlists announced

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LONDON, UK – 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. 2016 marks the 45th year of the Book Awards.

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This year’s Costa Book Awards attracted 596 entries. Judges on this year’s panels (three per category) included writers Nicci Gerrard, Andrew O’Hagan, Mary Loudon, Matthew Dennison, poet, author and vlogger Jen Campbell and author-illustrator, Cressida Cowell.

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

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The overall winner of the 2016 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 31st January 2017.

“I’m certain that readers of all tastes will find something to enjoy in this fantastic selection of books,” commented Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa.

“My thanks go to the category judges who read so extensively and chose so carefully, and many congratulations to the shortlisted authors. We’re very proud of our heritage and connection with the Book Awards at Costa and we wish them all great success.”

The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony. The shortlisted three stories for the Costa Short Story Award, now in its fifth year, will be revealed on the Costa Book Awards website,, later this month.

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 twice by a children’s book.

The 2015 Costa Book of the Year was The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

To be eligible for the 2016 Costa Book Awards, books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between 1 November 2015 and 31 October 2016 and their authors resident in the UK for the previous three years.


2016 Costa Novel Award shortlist

Sebastian Barry Days Without End Faber & Faber
Maggie O’Farrell This Must be the Place Tinder Press
Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent Serpent’s Tail
Rose Tremain The Gustav Sonata Chatto & Windus

2016 Costa First Novel Award shortlist

Susan Beale The Good Guy John Murray
Kit de Waal My Name is Leon Viking
Guinevere Glasfurd The Words in My Hand Two Roads
Francis Spufford Golden Hill Faber & Faber

2016 Costa Biography Award shortlist

Keggie Carew Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory Chatto & Windus
John Guy Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years Viking
Hisham Matar The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between Viking
Sylvia Patterson I’m Not With the Band: A Writer’s Life Lost in Music   Sphere

 2016 Costa Poetry Award shortlist

Melissa Lee-Houghton Sunshine Penned in the Margins
Alice Oswald Falling Awake Jonathan Cape Poetry
Denise Riley Say Something Back Picador
Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos Picador

2016 Costa Children’s Book Award shortlist

Brian Conaghan The Bombs That Brought Us Together Bloomsbury
Patrice Lawrence Orangeboy Hodder Children’s Books
Francesca Simon The Monstrous Child Faber & Faber/Profile Books
Ross Welford Time Travelling with a Hamster HarperCollins Children’s Books
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