You wait months for one prize winner…


… and five come along at once. This week’s top literary announcement is the list of the category winners for this year’s 2021 Costa Book Awards, the aim of which is to celebrate ‘the most enjoyable books of the year’ by writers who are resident in the UK and Ireland. This year’s judges have come up with a fine selection from a rich and exciting shortlist.

Claire Fuller wins the Novel Award for Unsettled Ground, a moving story of middle-aged twins, raised in isolation and plunged into modern society, while Caleb Azumah Nelson is the First Novel Award winner for Open Water, a tender love story that asks what it means to be young, black and male in a world that sees your body before it sees you. The Biography Award goes to John Preston for Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, a dramatic account of the extraordinary life of the media mogul, and the Poetry Award winner is Hannah Lowe for her collection of sonnets, The Kids. Manjeet Mann’s The Crossing, a profound story about teenagers from opposing cultures, takes the Children’s Book Award.

Now the final judging panel must convene to choose one Costa Book of the Year from these five contenders. You have until 1 February to read the selection and see if you agree with their decision…