Costa Coffee today announces the Costa Book Awards 2021 winners in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book categories.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and uniquely recognises some of the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year. 2021 marks the 50th year of the Awards. Originally established in 1971, Costa Coffee has been running the book prize since 2006.

First Novel

British-Ghanaian short story writer and photographer Caleb Azumah Nelson wins the Costa First Novel Award for his contemporary portrait of masculinity Open Water.

Novel Award

Bestselling author, Claire Fuller, triumphs in the Costa Novel Award Category for her fourth book, Unsettled Ground, ’a masterpiece of storytelling and craft’. Liz Robinson awarded it a Star Book here at LoveReading "Evoking raw emotions, yet thoughtfully compassionate and beautiful this a stunning story about love and family."


John Preston scoops Costa Biography Award for Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, an ‘epic, immersive, cinematic telling’ of the life of the late media mogul and MP.


Former London teacher, Hannah Lowe, wins the Costa Poetry Award with her third collection, The Kids, ‘a page turner about the experience of teaching and being taught’.


Writer, actor, director and charity founder Manjeet Mann triumphs in the Costa Children’s Book Award category for her second work of fiction, The Crossing, a refugee crisis-inspired verse novel that ‘will enrich all who read it’. LoveReading4Kids labelled it a "powerful, often heart wrenching narrative poem". LoveReading4Kids Expert Reviewer Tricia Adams commented: "This is such a profound story of hope, grief, and strength -  I do recommend it to all. Be aware you will weep, too."

The authors, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 934 entries and their books are now eligible for the ultimate prize – the 2021 Costa Book of the Year.

Jill McDonald, CEO of Costa Coffee, said: ‘Here are five fantastic books for readers to explore, recommend and share, ideally whilst enjoying a great cup of Costa coffee! We’re celebrating a milestone 50th anniversary year for the Costa Book Awards, and the range and breadth of this year’s category winners illustrates the Awards’ longstanding appeal, as the home of enjoyable reads to suit all tastes. Congratulations to all this year’s category Award-winning authors.’

The winner of the Costa Book of the Year will be selected by a panel of judges chaired by Reeta Chakrabarti, journalist and broadcaster, BBC News, and comprising category judges Jessie Burton, Rishi Dastidar, Xiaolu Guo, Smriti Halls and Andrew Wilson, and joined by writer and broadcaster, Damian Barr, tennis coach Judy Murray, broadcaster and Editor in Chief of Frank Magazine, Melanie Sykes and will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Penny Smith on Tuesday 1st February 2022. The winning author will receive £30,000.

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You can also click here to head to our page for the Costa Book Awards to see this year's shortlist and category winners as well as past winners.