In this the 50th year of the Awards, today Costa announced the 2021 shortlisted author. The only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland, these awards uniquely recognise some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.
Originally established in 1971, Costa Coffee took over this prestigious book prize from Whitbread in 2006.
In a bumper year for entries, the winners in the five categories each receive £5,000, and will be announced on Tuesday 4th January 2022. One of the five winning books is then selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year chosen by a nine-member panel which includes representatives from the original panels who are joined by other well-known people who love reading.
The overall winner of the 2021 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 1st February 2022.
Judges on this year’s panels (three per category) included the authors, novelists and writers Jessie Burton, Andrew Wilson and Smriti Halls; novelist, memoirist and filmmaker, Xiaolu Guo; journalists including Sarah Shaffi; poets Rishi Dastidar and Ian Duhig; podcaster Manveen Rana, and booksellers from Waterstones, Blackwell’s, The Book Hive and The Little Ripon Bookshop.
First Novel Shortlist
Fault Lines by Emily Itami
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
The Manningtree Witches by AK Blakemore
The Stranding by Kate Sawyer
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
The High House by Jessie Greengrass
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
Consumed: A Sister’s Story by Arifa Akbar
Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston
Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi
The Kids by Hannah Lowe
All the Names Given by Raymond Antrobus
A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi
Eat or We Both Starve by Victoria Kennefick
The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann
The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery
Maggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna Goodall