The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Costa Book Awards


The Booksellers Association administer the Costa Book Awards, which 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 have 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 £30,000, making a total prize fund of £55,000. It is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way.

The 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.

Costa Book Awards winner 2020
COSTA BOOK AWARDS 2020 Book of the Year Winner

The Mermaid of Black Conch: A Love Story (Peepal Tree Press) - a dark love story between a fisherman
and a mermaid torn from the sea – the seventh book, and sixth novel, by Trinidadian-born,
British writer and memoirist Monique Roffey has been named the 2020 Costa Book of the Year.

Costa Novel Award 
The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree) 
Costa First Novel Award
Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Faber) 
Costa Biography Award
The Louder I Will Sing  by Lee Lawrence (Sphere) 
Costa Poetry Award
The Historians by Eavan Boland (Carcanet) 
Costa Children’s Book Award
Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant (Faber)

2020 Costa Novel Award shortlist
Susanna Clarke Piranesi  (Bloomsbury Publishing) 
Tim Finch Peace Talks  (Bloomsbury Publishing) 
Denise Mina The Less Dead  (Harvill Secker) 
Monique Roffey The Mermaid of Black Conch: A Love Story (Peepal Tree)  
2020 Costa First Novel Award shortlist
Michelle Gallen Big Girl, Small Town  (John Murray Publishers) 
Sairish Hussein Family Tree  (HQ) 
Ingrid Persaud Love After Love  (Faber) 
Karen Raney All the Water in the World  (Two Roads) 
2020 Costa Biography Award shortlist
Julian Barnes The Man in the Red Coat  (Jonathan Cape) 
Rachel Clarke Dear Life  (Little, Brown)  
Lee Lawrence The Louder I Will Sing  (Sphere) 
Jeff Young Ghost Town: A Liverpool Shadow Play  (Little Toller Books)  
2020 Costa Poetry Award shortlist
Caroline Bird The Air Year  (Carcanet) 
Eavan Boland The Historians  (Carcanet) 
Rachel Long My Darling from the Lions  (Picador) 
Martha Sprackland Citadel  (Pavilion Poetry) 
2020 Costa Children’s Book Award shortlist
Darren Charlton Wranglestone  (Little Tiger)  
Natasha Farrant Voyage of the Sparrowhawk  (Faber) 
Jenny Pearson The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates  (Usborne) 
Meg Rosoff The Great Godden  (Bloomsbury Publishing) 


Entries are not currently open.

Entry for the 2020 Costa Book Awards has now closed. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive information about submitting entries for 2021, email Rehana Nurmahi