Costa Book Awards

Recognising excellent, enjoyable books with wide appeal.

What are the Costa Book Awards?

Costa Book Awards logoLaunched in 1971, the Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular book prizes and celebrates the most enjoyable books of the year by writers resident in the UK and Ireland.

Uniquely, the prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the year and each category is judged separately by a panel of three judges per category. The Costa Book of the Year is then chosen by a nine-member panel which includes representatives from the original panels who are joined by other well-known people who love reading.

Books are entered by publishers and entry for the Awards closes at the end of June each year. The author of the Costa Book of the Year receives a cheque for £30,000, presented at an awards ceremony at the end of January.

Books of the Year have included ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon, ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ by Kate Atkinson and ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Philip Pullman.

Click here to view a list of all past winners and check below for all the latest news and updates.

Key dates for the 2019 Awards

Close of Entry

Wednesday 26th June 2019

Category Shortlists Announced

Tuesday 26th November 2019

Category Winners Announced

Monday 6th January 2020

Costa Book of the Year Announced

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Costa Book of the Year 2018 - Winner

The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es was announced as the 2018 Costa Book of the Year, and you can watch Bart talking about his winning book by clicking the link below.

Bart van Es holding his novel 'Cut Out Girl'

Did you know that this is the only book prize to be won by Roald Dahl? He won the Children’s Novel Award in 1983 with ‘The Witches’!

Got a question?

We receive many enquiries about every aspect of the Costa Book Awards, so we've taken all the most frequently asked questions and answered them here.

Costa Book Award 2018 winners


Click here for full Costa Book Awards terms and click here for full Costa Short Story Award terms.