Costa Book Awards discontinued after half a century

The announcement that after 50 years, the Costa Book Awards have been discontinued has been met with resounding disappointment across the book world. The book prize celebrated books written by authors from across the UK and Ireland. This makes the 2021 Costa Book Awards held in February 2022 the final installment. 

Established in 1971, the Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005) aimed to share and raise the profile of some of the best books published each year.

The company issued a statement saying, "We are incredibly proud to have played a part in supporting some of the best-selling authors of the last 50 years as well as trailblazing diverse and fresh voices, tackling a broad range of themes and ideas, across fiction, poetry and biography. And we are honoured to have helped both these new and established talents reach a wider audience of readers. We would like to thank all those who have been involved and supported the Costa Book Awards over the last 50 years as we close this chapter."

The company has not given a reason for scrapping the awards and there are no apparent plans for the awards to be taken over by anyone else.

Read more about the last Costa Book Award winners here.

Check out our feature on why literary prizes matter.

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