The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

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 has 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.

Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore was awarded the Costa Book of the Year Award in January 2018.

The shortlist:

Costa First Novel Award: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

Costa Novel Award: Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor

Costa Biography Award: Days without Rain, Rebecca Stott

Costa Poetry Award: Inside the Wave, Helen Dunmore

Costa Children's Book Award: The Explorer, Katherine Rundell

Follow @CostaBookAwards for the latest updates.