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COSTA COFFEE – Judges announced for 2013 Book Awards

LONDON, UK – Costa has announced the judging panels for the 2013 Costa Book Awards, which is open to writers based in the UK and Ireland.

They include broadcaster and journalist Paul Ross; broadcaster and author Clemency Burton-Hill; poet and journalist Olivia Cole; author and former Channel 4 News culture editor, Matthew Cain, author, columnist and scriptwriter Emma Kennedy  and writer and poet, John Burnside.

The full panels are listed below:

COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD Rachael Beale: Web Manager, London Review of BooksFanny Blake: Novelist, Journalist and Books Editor of Woman & Home Matthew Cain: Author and Former Culture Editor, Channel 4 News

COSTA NOVEL AWARD Clemency Burton-Hill: Broadcaster and AuthorEithne Farry: Reviewer, Critic and Author; Books Editor, Marie Claire Gerard Woodward: Author and Professor of Fiction at Bath Spa University

COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD Anne de Courcy: AuthorPaul Ross: Broadcaster and Journalist Caroline Sanderson: Author, Reviewer and Non-Fiction Editor of The Bookseller

COSTA POETRY AWARD John Burnside: Writer Olivia Cole: Poet and Journalist Daniel Eltringham: Poetry Buyer, Dulwich Books

COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD Jo Anne Cocadiz: Children’s Book Buyer, FoylesEmma Kennedy: Author, Columnist and Scriptwriter Philip Womack: Author and Critic

A total of 617 books were entered for this year’s Costa Book Awards – the highest number of entries ever received in one year.  This year also saw the highest-ever number of entries to the Children’s Book Award. A total of 151 books were submitted to the Children’s category.

Children’s Book Award category judge, Emma Kennedy, said: “I’m happy to be able to declare, having read a vast pile of books, that children’s writing is as vibrant and exciting as ever. I wanted imaginations run riot, to be transported to peculiar worlds but most of all, I wanted a damn good read. I got it.”

Emma’s fellow Children’s Book Award judge, Philip Womack, added: “I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the submissions for this year’s Children’s Book Award, and have been overwhelmed by the quality and diversity. It has been fascinating, frustrating and fun in equal measure.”

The judges will select shortlists and winners in their respective categories (First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book) and the five Award Winners will form the shortlist for the 2013 Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday January 29th, 2014.

“It’s not only an honour but a thrill to be among the judges of this year’s Costa Book Awards,” commented Novel category judge, Clemency Burton-Hill.

“Amid persistent doom-mongering about the future of the publishing industry, it’s exciting to see that the contemporary novel is not only alive and well but in rude and vital health. In terms of form, genre and subject matter, the range and ambition of the novels the judges are reading is spectacular, and I predict some tough conversations ahead as we battle it out to reach a shortlist and an eventual winner.”

The Costa Book Awards have the single aim of celebrating the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.  Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa, the UK’s fastest-growing coffee shop chain, announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK’s most prestigious book prize in 2006.

Recent winners of the Costa Book of the Year include Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies (2012), Andrew Miller for Pure (2011), Jo Shapcott for Of Mutability (2010), Christopher Reid for A Scattering (2009), Sebastian Barry for The Secret Scripture (2008), Day by A. L. Kennedy (2007) and Stef Penney for The Tenderness of Wolves (2006).

In 2012, Costa launched the Costa Short Story Award, a new Award for a single short story run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system.  The Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English.

A panel of five judges will select a shortlist of six entries which will be revealed in November 2013. The public will then be invited to vote online for their favourite story from the six finalists.  The two runners-up and winner will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 28th January 2014.