The category winners for the 2011 Costa Book Awards – in its 40th year – have been announced, with some highly respected but lesser-known authors beating off the big names
The five successful authors who will now compete for the 2011 Costa Book of the Year are:
• Poet and debut biographer Matthew Hollis, who beats Claire Tomalin’s bestselling Charles Dickens: A Life to take the Costa Biography Award for his first work of prose, Now All Roads Leads to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas
• Debut novelist and former Great Ormond Street nurse, Christie Watson, who wins the Costa First Novel Award for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, set in the Niger Delta
• Carol Ann Duffy who wins the Costa Poetry Award for The Bees, her first collection since being appointed Poet Laureate in 2009
• Former opera singer and debut children’s writer, Moira Young, who wins the Costa Children’s Book Award for Blood Red Road, currently being adapted for film by Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s production company.
The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 568 entries. The five books are now eligible for the ultimate prize – the 2011 Costa Book of the Year.
The winner – selected by a panel of judges chaired by Editor of the London Evening Standard, Geordie Greig and comprising Hugh Dennis, Dervla Kirwan, Mary Nightingale, William Fiennes, Flora Fraser, Patrick Gale, Jojo Moyes and Eleanor Updale – will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith on Tuesday 24 January 2012.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book. The 2010 Costa Book of the Year was Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott.
For additional information go to www.costabookawards.com