Whitbread Book Awards: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Costa Book Awards are a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, after which Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship.

The awards, launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.

In 1989, controversy erupted when the judges first awarded the Best Novel prize to Alexander Stuart's The War Zone, then withdrew the prize prior to the ceremony amid acrimony among the judges, ultimately awarding it to Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding.


The process

Currently each year winners are chosen by five separate judging panels picking from different shortlists in five different categories:

  • Best novel
  • Best first novel
  • Children's book
  • Poetry
  • Biography

Each category winner receives £5,000. One of the category winners is then selected as the Costa Book of the Year and given a further £25,000. This overall award is chosen by a judging panel that comprises five judges from the previous category round and four new ones.

The category winners do not have to be British or Irish but must be resident in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of the year.

Costa Book Award category winners








  • First Novel Award - DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
  • Novel Award - Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Children's Book Award - David Almond, The Fire-Eaters
  • Poetry Award - Don Paterson, Landing Light
  • Biography Award - DJ Taylor, Orwell: The Life



  • First Novel Award - Sid Smith, Something Like A House
  • Novel Award - Patrick Neate, Twelve Bar Blues
  • Children's Book Award - Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
  • Poetry Award - Selima Hill, Bunny
  • Biography Award - Diana Souhami, Selkirk's Island


See also


External links

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