Costa Book Awards

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  • The Costa Book Awards are given away once a year and form an important event for British literature. The prize has a history of 36 years, it was formerly known as the Whitbread Literary Awards (since it's founding 1971) and was renamed into Whitbread Book Awards in 1985. The name Costa Book Awards was chosen in 2006, when Costa Coffee took over the ownership, as a subsidiary of Whitbread. Since only Costa Coffee holds the rights to this price, they are the only sponsor of these awards. By sponsoring the awards and supporting other literary initiatives Costa Coffee tries to motivate, both existing and new readers to take some time for themselves with a good book and a cup of Costa's coffee.
  • In order to be eligible a publisher must submit a book, authors can't. Another important requirement is that the author of the submitted book must have been resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for six months a year. The submitted books had to be published within the previous year (between 1 November and 31. October) in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. A publisher can submit as many books as he (or she) wants, as long as it is conform with the other rules stated above.
  • The Costa Book Awards consist of five categories, namely: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. By putting the category children's books alongside the other four categories, which are clearly addressed towards an adult audience, the awards category structure clearly differs from that of other prizes.
  • Each category's winner receives £5,000, from which one is to become the winner of the year and receives another £25,000. So the total prize founding of this award amount to £50,000 a year. The winner of the overall award is elected by a committee of five judges from the previous category round, which is completed by four new judges.
  • In 2007 Costa Book Award entries were closed on Friday 29th of June, and the shortlists in all categories were announced on the 21st of November. Somewhere around Mid-December a final judging committee was announced to chose the award winners. Their verdict was unveiled on the 3rd of January, and finally on January 22nd 2008 the 2007 Costa Book of the Year Awards were acquainted as a part of a glamorous ceremony in central London.


Book of the Year

  • A.L. Kennedy, Day (2007) - Overall Winner

First Novel

  • Tahmima Anam, A Golden Age (2007)
  • Nikita Lalwani, Gifted (2007)
  • Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost (2007) - Winner
  • Mosquito by Roma Tearne


  • Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett
  • A.L. Kennedy, Day (2007) - Winner
  • Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain


  • Rudolf Nureyev by Julie Kavanagh
  • Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre
  • Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore - Winner
  • Fatty Batter by Michael Simkins


  • The Speed of Dark by Ian Duhig
  • The Space of Joy by John Fuller
  • Look We Have Coming to Dover! by Daljit Nagra
  • Tilt by Jean Sprackland - Winner

Children's Book

  • The Bower Bird by Ann Kelley - Winner
  • Crusade by Elizabeth Laird
  • What I Was by Meg Rosoff
  • Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

Main points of debate

  • the all-female winner list
  • large number of titles submitted by independent publishers



Frank Pepplinkhuizen 19:24, 5 December 2007 (CET)