The panels have been announced for the 2020 Costa Book Awards and Costa Short Story Award. See below for more details.

2020 Costa Book Awards Final Judging Panel

Costa Book Awards 2020 shortlisted books Each of the five award categories is judged by a panel of three judges.

The Costa Book of the Year is selected by a final judging panel made up of a Chairman, a judge from each category panel and three other well-known people in the public eye who love reading.

Check below to see this year's final judges and click here to view the full panel of 2020 category judges.

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb

Historian, Author and Broadcaster - Chair of Judges

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. Professor of History at the University of Roehampton and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she holds a MA, MSt, and DPhil from Lincoln and Balliol Colleges, Oxford. She has written five books and presented numerous TV history documentary series.

Angellica Bell

Television and radio presenter

Angellica Bell has been a television and radio presenter for the last 20 years. She presented Children's BBC between 2000-2006 and was twice nominated for Best Presenter at the Children’s Baftas. She is now known for co-presenting The One Show and the award-winning The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV. Angellica presents the Saturday Breakfast Show on Scala Radio every week from 7am till 10am.

Horatio Clare

Writer - representing the Biography Category

Horatio Clare’s books include Running for the Hills (Somerset Maugham Award), A Single Swallow, Down to the Sea in Ships (Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year), Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot (Branford Boase Award), The Light in the Dark and Something of his Art: Walking to Lubeck with J S Bach. He lectures in nonfiction at the University of Manchester.

Jill Dawson

Novelist - representing the First Novel Category

Jill Dawson is the award-winning author of ten novels including The Crime Writer, Fred and Edie and her most recent, The Language of Birds, which tells the story of the nanny murdered in the Lord Lucan case. She is also the editor of six anthologies of poetry and short stories, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and runs Gold Dust Mentoring, a scheme for new writers. She lives in an eco-house in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Sadie Jones

Author - representing the Novel Category

Sadie Jones is the author of five novels including; The Outcast, winner of the 2008 Costa First Novel Award and a Richard and Judy bestseller; Small Wars, longlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize and The Uninvited Guests. Also a screenwriter, Sadie adapted The Outcast for BBC1 (in 2014) and her most recent novel is The Snakes (2019). Born in London, Sadie is the daughter of the Jamaican writer Evan Jones and British actress, Joanna Jones. She is married to the architect, Tim Boyd.

Zaffar Kunial

Poet - representing the Poetry Category

Zaffar Kunial’s debut book, Us (Faber & Faber), was shortlisted for a number of awards including the Costa Poetry Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He is the Douglas Caster Fellow in Poetry at Leeds University. His pamphlet of cricket poems, Six, was published by Faber in 2019.

Patrice Lawrence

Writer - representing the Children's Book Category

Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer for children, teenagers and adults. Her books for young adults include Orangeboy, winner of the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction, and Indigo Donut, which won the Crimefest YA Prize. Her latest novel is Eight Pieces of Silva. She contributes to Radio 4's Saturday Review, Woman's Hour and Front Row and has written for a number of print and online publications.

Stephen Mangan

Actor and Writer

Stephen Mangan made his breakthrough television performance as ‘Adrian Mole’ in the BBC's Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years. He has starred in a host of series since including Green Wing, Episodes and The Split. Mangan co-presents the Sky Arts hit television series Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year and he presented Children In Need 2020 for the BBC. Stephen has written his first children’s novel, which will be published in 2021.

Simon Savidge

Presenter and book vlogger, Savidge Reads

Simon started the book blog Savidge Reads in 2007, then moved into podcasts with The Readers, before heading to YouTube in 2016 which has become his main focus. Simon has previously judged The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, Fiction Uncovered, the HWA Debut Crown, the Costa First Novel Award and was chair of the Portico Prize 2019. He currently project manages the BBC Novels That Shaped Our World Libraries Events Programme for the charity Libraries Connected, as well as hosting literary events at festivals and bookshops.


2021 Short Story Award judging panel

Learn more about this year’s panel of judges here by downloading the PDF below.

Previous judges

Download the PDF below to view a complete list of all past Costa Book Awards judges from 1971 to present.

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