The Costa Book Awards shortlist for 2019 has been announced

Last night, 20 books across five categories were announced as the 2019 Costa Book Awards shortlists.

The only major UK book prize open solely to UK and Irish authors, the categories recognised include: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.

Candice Carty-Williams’ much-lauded debut novel Queenie was included in the 2019 Costa First Novel Award shortlist, while Jonathan Coe’s Brexit-inspired Middle England features in the 2019 Costa Novel Award Shortlist.

Lindsey Hilsum’s recount of her friend Marie Colvin’s life, In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin is part of the 2019 Costa Biography Award shortlist.

Just four books have been shortlisted in each category after the Costa Book Awards received a record 701 entries this year. There will be three judges per category and this year’s judges include author Clare Mackintosh, novelist John Boyne and writers Kate Clanchy, Bali Rai and Mahsuda Snaith; historian, author and broadcaster, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb; and poet, critic and songwriter Jade Cuttle.

Winners in each category will receive £5,000 and these will be announced on Monday January 6, 2020. The overall winner of the 2019 Costa Book of the Year will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 28 and will receive £30,000.

You can view the complete shortlists below:

2019 Costa First Novel Award shortlist

  • Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston (Picador)
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Viking)
  • The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen (The Borough Press)

2019 Costa Novel Award shortlist

  • Middle England by Jonathan Coe (Viking)
  • Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach (Head of Zeus)
  • Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Sceptre)
  • Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker)

2019 Costa Biography Award shortlist

  • On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons by Laura Cumming (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather (WH Allen)
  • In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels by Adam Nicolson (William Collins)

2019 Costa Poetry Award shortlist

  • Surge by Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus)
  • Flèche by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber)
  • The Mizzy by Paul Farley (Picador)
  • Reckless Paper Birds by John McCullough (Penned in the Margins)

2019 Costa Children’s Award shortlist

  • Asha & the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan (Chicken House)
  • Crossfire by Malorie Blackman (Penguin Books)
  • In the Shadow of Heroes by Nicholas Bowling (Chicken House)
  • Furious Thing by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books)


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