Art books

The Costa Book Awards announce a surprise end after 50 years of racing

The Costa Book Awards, a literary prize launched in 1971, have announced their abrupt end.

No reason was given as to why the long-running awards were removed, however, as news spread online, authors and publishers reacted to the news.

Scottish novelist Damian Barr tweeted: “Oh no! I was a judge this year – all the category judges and your team did a great job. The awards have done so much to get so many books distributed to so many people. That’s a shame!”

Nelle Andrew, an agent for Rachel Mills Literary, tweeted that she was “devastated to hear the news” while calling it “a blow to the industry and authors”.

Patrons of the award made the announcement online yesterday.

A statement read: “After 50 years of celebrating some of the most enjoyable books by hugely talented authors from the UK and Ireland, Costa Coffee has made the difficult decision to end the Costa Book Awards.

“This means the 2021 Costa Book Awards held in February 2022 were our 50th and final awards.”

The Costa Book Awards were founded in 1971 and were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005.

It recognized writing in five categories: first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children’s book, with four winners receiving £5,000 (Dh22,600) and one receiving £30,000 (Dh135,000) and winning the prize Costa lighthouse. Book of the year.

In 2012 it added a Short Story Award category with £3,500 (Dh15,800) for the top prize winner, who was crowned after the public voted from a judge’s shortlist.

In February, the Costa Book Awards held their annual ceremony with author Hannah Lowe winning Book of the Year 2021 with her work children. He also won the Poetry category.

Other event winners included The wide by Caleb Azumah Nelson (first novel), Unstable terrain by Claire Fuller (Novel), Autumn: The Robert Maxwell Mystery by John Preston (Biography), and The passage by Manjeet Mann (Children’s book). The Short Story Award went to LE Yates for Solar cream.

Updated: June 11, 2022, 07:54

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