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2018 Costa Book Awards: Shortlist Announced!

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20 authors announced across five categories as the shortlist for the 47th Costa Book Awards is revealed. Have you read these brilliant books yet?

The Costa Book Awards, the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland, recognises some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year across five different categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. 

Debuts make up half of the shortlisted titles and 70-year-old Anne Youngson, Irish novelist Sally Rooney and poet Benjamin Zephaniah are amongst those up for awards. 

Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa said, “There’s genuinely something for everyone in our shortlists this year: books which will make you laugh and books which will make you cry; books which will make you think; books which you’ll read late into the night; and, most of all, books which you’ll want to recommend and pass on to others.  My sincere thanks go to all our 15 category judges who’ve done such an excellent job of selecting 20 of this year’s most exciting, inspiring and enjoyable reads.” 

Winners in the five categories will receive £5,000 and be revealed on 7 January 2019, while the overall winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29 January 2019. The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony. The shortlisted stories for the Costa Short Story Award will be revealed on the Costa Book Awards website later this month.

The judges on this year’s panels (three per category) included authors Paula Byrne and Rachel Joyce; journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera; poet Mimi Khalvati; journalist, critic and writer Anita Sethi and RTE broadcaster Rick O’Shea.

You can see the full shortlist below:

Costa Novel Award:

  • The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker  
  • The Italian Teacher, by Tom Rachman
  • Normal People, by Sally Rooney
  • From a Low and Quiet Sea, by Donal Ryan

Costa First Novel Award:

  • Pieces of Me, by Natalie Hart
  • An Unremarkable Body, by Elisa Lodato
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton
  • Meet Me at the Museum, by Anne Youngson

Costa Biography Award:

  • To Throw Away Unopened, by Viv Albertine
  • The Cut Out Girl, by Bart van Es
  • The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn
  • The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: The Autobiography, by Benjamin Zephaniah

Poetry Award:

  • Us, by Zaffar Kunial
  • Assurances, by O. Morgan
  • Soho, by Richard Scott
  • Three Poems, by Hannah Sullivan

 Children’s Book Award: 

  • The Colour of the Sun, by David Almond
  • Bone Talk, by Candy Gourlay
  • Orphan Monster Spy, by Matt Killeen
  • The Skylarks’ War, by Hilary McKay