LONDON, UK – Costa Coffee has announced the shortlists for the 2020 Costa Book Awards. The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, 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.
This year’s Costa Book Awards attracted 708 entries, the most received in one year to date. Judges on this year’s panels (three per category) included the authors Horatio Clare, Jill Dawson, Sadie Jones and Patrice Lawrence; journalist and author Poorna Bell; broadcaster and historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough; poet Zaffar Kunial and blogger and YouTuber Eric Karl Anderson.
Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Monday 4th January 2021. The overall winner of the 2020 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and be announced at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday 26th January 2021.
Jill McDonald, CEO of Costa Coffee, said: “These lists represent everything the Costa Book Awards celebrate -here are 20 brilliant books to read, enjoy, recommend and share. Thank you to the judges for their time and dedication in producing such outstanding lists in this most unusual year. And congratulations to the authors who have made it onto the shortlists from such an enormous number of entries. There is truly something for everyone here.”
The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony. The three shortlisted stories for the Costa Short Story Award, now in its ninth year, will be revealed on the Costa Book Awards website, www.costabookawards.com, on 1st December 2020.
To be eligible for the 2020 Costa Book Awards, books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between 1st November 2019 and 31st October 2020 and their authors resident in the UK or Ireland for the previous three years.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won 12 times by a novel, five times by a first novel, eight times by a biography, eight times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book. The 2019 Costa Book of the Year was The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather.