Thursday 01 June 2023

Judging panels announced for the 2019 Costa Book Literary Awards

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LONDON, UK – Costa Coffee announces the judging panels for the 2019 Costa Book Awards, open to writers based in the UK and Ireland.

They include author Clare Mackintosh, novelist John Boyne and writers Kate Clanchy, Bali Rai and Mahsuda Snaith; historian, author and broadcaster, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb and poet, critic and songwriter Jade Cuttle.

The full panels for the Awards are listed below:

Costa First Novel Award

Clare Mackintosh: Author

Will Smith: Bookseller, Sam Read Bookseller, Grasmere

Mahsuda Snaith: Writer

Costa Novel Award

John Boyne: Novelist

Francesca Brown: Contributing Books Editor, Stylist

Sarah Turner: Trading Controller (e-commerce), WHSmith

Costa Biography Award

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb: Historian, Author and Broadcaster

James Marriott: Deputy Books Editor, The Times

Will Rycroft: Audience Development Manager, Waterstones

Costa Poetry Award

Kate Clanchy: Writer

Jade Cuttle: Poet, Songwriter and Critic

Rohan Silva: Co-Founder & CEO, Second Home

Costa Children’s Book Award

Charlotte Eyre: Children’s Editor, The Bookseller

Bali Rai: Writer

Danny van Emden: Children’s Buyer and Deputy Manager, West End Lane Books

A total of 699 books were entered for this year’s Costa Book Awards, the highest number of entries received to date in one year and a significant increase on the previous highest entry of 642 in 2018. This year’s submissions also feature the highest-ever number of entries to both the Novel and Biography categories.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and which 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 Coffee took over the UK’s most prestigious book prize awards in 2006.

Recent winners of the Costa Book of the Year include The Cut Out Girl by Oxford University Professor Bart van Es (2018); Inside the Wave, the tenth and final collection of poetry by the late poet and author Helen Dunmore (2017); Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, the first novelist ever to win the Book of the Year twice (2016); The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (2015); H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (2014); The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (2013); Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (2012); Pure by Andrew Miller (2011); Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott; A Scattering by Christopher Reid (2009); The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (2008); Day by A L Kennedy (2007); and The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (2006).

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 2019 Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 28th January 2020.

In 2012, Costa Coffee 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 three entries, which will be revealed in December 2019. The public will then be invited to vote online for their favourite story from the three finalists. The two runners-up and winner will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on Tuesday 28th January 2020.

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