The Costa Book Awards award
is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The Costa Book Awards is unique in many ways, not least in having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. The winner in each category receives £5,000. One of these five books is selected as the overall winner of the Book of the Year and receives a further £25,000, making a total prize fund of £50,000. It is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way. The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards.
From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards
until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership - the year that both Costa and the Book Awards celebrated their 35th anniversary. Since 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres.
Since the introduction of the overall Book of the Year Award in 1985, it has been won seven times by a novel, three times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book. Winners of the Book of the Year Award from 2006 onwards can be found here