Costa Book Awards

The awards were established as the Whitbread Awards in 1971 and became the Costa Book Awards in 2006.

Prizes are currently awarded in five categories: Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry, Children's Book. The Book of the Year Award is selected from the winners of these five categories.

Whitbread Awards Winners

1971

  • Novel Gerda Charles - The Destiny Waltz (Eyre & Spottiswoode)
  • Biography Michael Meyer - Henrik Ibsen (Hart-Davis)
  • Poetry Geoffrey Hill - Mercian Hymns (Andre Deutsch)

1972

1973

  • Novel Shiva Naipaul - The Chip Chip Gatherers
  • Biography John Wilson - CB: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman (Constable)
  • Children's Book Alan Aldridge & William Plomer - The Butterfly Ball & The Grasshopper's Feast (Jonathan Cape)

1974

1975

  • Novel William McIlvanney - Docherty (Allen & Unwin)
  • Autobiography Helen Corke - In Our Infancy (Cambridge University Press)
  • First Book Ruth Spalding - The Improbable Puritan: A Life of Bulstrode Whitelock (Faber & Faber)

1976

  • Novel William Trevor - The Children of Dynmouth (Bodley Head)
  • Biography Winifred Gerin - Elizabeth Gaskell (OUP)
  • Children's Book Penelope Lively - A Stitch in Time (Heinemann)

1977

  • Novel Beryl Bainbridge - Injury Time (Duckworth)
  • Biography Nigel Nicolson - Mary Curzon (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Children's Book Shelagh Macdonald - No End to Yesterday (Andre Deutsch)

1978

  • Novel Paul Theroux - Picture Palace (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Biography John Grigg - Lloyd George: The People's Champion (Methuen)
  • Children's Book Philippa Pearce - The Battle of Bubble & Squeak (Andre Deutsch)

1979

  • Novel Jennifer Johnston - The Old Jest (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Autobiography Penelope Mortimer - About Time (Allen Lane)
  • Children's Book Peter Dickinson - Tulku (Victor Gollancz)

1980

  • Novel (Book of the Year) David Lodge - How Far Can You Go? (Secker & Warburg)
  • Biography David Newsome - On the Edge of Paradise: A C Benson the Diarist (John Murrary)
  • Children's Novel Leon Garfield - John Diamond (Kestrel)

1981

  • Novel Maurice Leitch - Silver's City (Secker & Warburg)
  • First Novel William Boyd - A Good Man in Africa (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Biography Nigel Hamilton - Monty: The Making of a General (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Children's Novel Jane Gardam - The Hollow Land (Julia MacRae)

1982

  • Novel John Wain - Young Shoulders (Macmillan)
  • First Novel Bruce Chatwin - On the Black Hill (Jonathan Cape)
  • Biography Edward Crankshaw - Bismark (Macmillan)
  • Children's Novel W. J. Corbett - The Song of Pentecost (Methuen)

1983

  • Novel William Trevor - Fools of Fortune (Bodley Head)
  • First Novel John Fuller - Flying to Nowhere (Salamander Press)
  • Biography (joint) Victoria Glendinning - Vita (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Biography (joint) Kenneth Rose - King George V (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Children's Novel Roald Dahl - The Witches (Jonathan Cape)

1984

  • Novel Christopher Hope - Kruger's Alp (Heinemann)
  • First Novel James Buchan - A Parish of Rich Women (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Biography Peter Ackroyd - T S Eliot (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Short Story Diane Rowe - Tomorrow is our Permanent Address
  • Children's Novel Barbara Willard - The Queen of the Pharisees' Children (Julia MacRae)

1985

1986

1987

  • Novel Ian McEwan - The Child in Time (Jonathan Cape)
  • First Novel Francis Wyndham - The Other Garden (Jonathan Cape)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Christopher Nolan - Under the Eye of the Clock (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Poetry Seamus Heaney - The Haw Lantern (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Novel Geraldine McCaughrean - A Little Lower than the Angels (OUP)

1988

  • Novel Salman Rushdie - The Satanic Verses (Viking)
  • First Novel (Book of the Year) Paul Sayer - The Comforts of Madness (Constable)
  • Biography A. N. Wilson - Tolstoy (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Poetry Peter Porter - The Automatic Oracle (OUP)
  • Children's Novel Judy Allen - Awaiting Developments (Julia MacRae)

1989

  • Novel Lindsay Clarke - The Chymical Wedding (Jonathan Cape)
  • First Novel James Hamilton-Paterson - Gerontius (Macmillan)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Richard Holmes - Coleridge: Early Visions (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Poetry Michael Donaghy - Shibboleth (OUP)
  • Children's Novel Hugh Scott - Why Weeps the Brogan? (Walker Books)

1990

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Nicholas Mosley - Hopeful Monsters (Secker & Warburg)
  • First Novel Hanif Kureishi - The Buddha of Suburbia (Faber & Faber)
  • Biography Ann Thwaite - A A Milne: His Life (Faber & Faber)
  • Poetry Paul Durcan - Daddy, Daddy (The Blackstaff Press)
  • Children's Novel Peter Dickinson - AK (Victor Gollancz)

1991

  • Novel Jane Gardam - The Queen of the Tambourine (Sinclair-Stevenson)
  • First Novel Gordon Burn - Alma Cogan (Secker & Warburg)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) John Richardson - A Life of Picasso (Jonathan Cape)
  • Poetry Michael Longley - Gorse Fires (Secker & Warburg)
  • Children's Novel Diana Hendry - Harvey Angell (Julia MacRae)

1992

  • Novel Alasdair Gray - Poor Things (Bloomsbury)
  • First Novel (Book of the Year) Jeff Torrington - Swing Hammer Swing! (Secker & Warburg)
  • Biography Victoria Glendinning - Trollope (Hutchinson)
  • Poetry Tony Harrison - The Gaze of the Gorgon (Bloodaxe Books)
  • Children's Novel Gillian Cross - The Great Elephant Chase (OUP)

1993

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Joan Brady - Theory of War (Andre Deutsch)
  • First Novel Rachel Cusk - Saving Agnes (Macmillan)
  • Biography Andrew Motion - Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life (Faber & Faber)
  • Poetry Carol Ann Duffy - Mean Time (Anvil Press)
  • Children's Novel Anne Fine - Flour Babies (Hamish Hamilton)

1994

  • Novel (Book of the Year) William Trevor - Felicia's Journey (Viking)
  • First Novel Fred D'Aguiar - The Longest Memory (Chatto & Windus)
  • Biography Brenda Maddox - D H Lawrence: The Married Man (Sinclair-Stevenson)
  • Poetry James Fenton - Out of Danger (Penguin Poetry)
  • Children's Novel Geraldine McCaughrean - Gold Dust (OUP)

1995

  • Novel Salman Rushdie - The Moor's Last Sigh (Jonathan Cape)
  • First Novel (Book of the Year) Kate Atkinson - Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Doubleday/Black Swan)
  • Biography Roy Jenkins - Gladstone (Macmillan)
  • Poetry Bernard O’Donoghue - Gunpowder (Chatto & Windus)
  • Beefeater Children's Novel Michael Morpurgo - The Wreck of the Zanzibar (Heinemann/Mammoth)

1996

  • Novel Beryl Bainbridge - Every Man for Himself (Duckworth)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Seamus Heaney - The Spirit Level (Faber & Faber)
  • First Novel John Lanchester - The Debt to Pleasure (Picador)
  • Biography Diarmaid MacCulloch - Thomas Cranmer: A Life (Yale University Press)
  • Children's Book of the Year Anne Fine - The Tulip Touch (Hamish Hamilton)

1997

  • Novel Jim Crace - Quarantine (Viking)
  • First Novel Pauline Melville - The Ventriloquist's Tale (Bloomsbury)
  • Biography Graham Robb - Victor Hugo (Picador)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Ted Hughes - Tales from Ovid (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book of the Year Andrew Norriss - Aquila (Hamish Hamilton)

1998

  • Novel Justin Cartwright - Leading the Cheers (Sceptre)
  • First Novel Giles Foden - The Last King of Scotland (Faber & Faber)
  • Biography Amanda Foreman - Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (HarperCollins)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Ted Hughes - Birthday Letters (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book of the Year David Almond - Skellig (Hodder Children’s Books)

1999

  • Novel Rose Tremain - Music and Silence (Chatto & Windus)
  • First Novel Tim Lott - White City Blue (Viking)
  • Biography David Cairns - Berlioz, Volume 2 (Allen Lane The Penguin Press)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Seamus Heaney - Beowulf (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book of the Year J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Bloomsbury)

2000

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Matthew Kneale - English Passengers (Hamish Hamilton)
  • First Novel Zadie Smith - White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Biography Lorna Sage - Bad Blood (Fourth Estate)
  • Poetry John Burnside - The Asylum Dance (Cape Poetry)
  • Children's Book of the Year Jamila Gavin - Coram Boy (Egmont)

2001

  • Novel Patrick Neate - Twelve Bar Blues (Viking)
  • First Novel Sid Smith - Something Like a House (Picador)
  • Biography Diana Souhami - Selkirk's Island (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Poetry Selima Hill - Bunny (Bloodaxe)
  • Children's Book of the Year (Book of the Year) Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass (Scholastic)

2002

  • Novel Michael Frayn - Spies (Faber & Faber)
  • First Novel Norman Lebrecht - The Song of Names (Review)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Claire Tomalin - Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (Viking)
  • Poetry Paul Farley - The Ice Age (Picador)
  • Children's Book Hilary McKay - Saffy's Angel (Hodder Children's)

2003

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Jonathan Cape)
  • First Novel DBC Pierre - Vernon God Little (Faber & Faber)
  • Biography D. J. Taylor - Orwell: The Life (Chatto & Windus)
  • Poetry Don Paterson - Landing Light (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book David Almond - The Fire-Eaters (Hodder Children's)

2004

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Andrea Levy - Small Island (Headline)
  • First Novel Susan Fletcher - Eve Green
  • Biography John Guy - My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots (Fourth Estate)
  • Poetry Michael Simmons Roberts - Corpus (Jonathan Cape)
  • Children's Book Geraldine McCaughrean - Not the End of the World (Oxford University Press)

2005

  • Novel Ali Smith - The Accidental (Hamish Hamilton)
  • First Novel Tash Aw - The Harmony Silk Factory (Harper Perennial)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Hilary Spurling - Matisse: The Master (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Poetry Christopher Logue - Cold Calls (Faber and Faber)
  • Children's Book Kate Thompson - The New Policeman (The Bodley Head)

Costa Book Awards Winners

2006

  • Novel William Boyd - Restless (Bloomsbury)
  • First Novel (Book of the Year) Stef Penney - The Tenderness of Wolves (Quercus)
  • Biography Brian Thompson - Keeping Mum (Atlantic Books)
  • Poetry John Haynes - Letter to Patience (Seren)
  • Children's Book Linda Newbery - Set in Stone (David Fickling Books)

2007

  • Novel (Book of the Year) A. L. Kennedy - Day (Jonathan Cape)
  • First Novel Catherine O’Flynn - What Was Lost (Tindal Street Press)
  • Biography Simon Sebag-Montefiore - Young Stalin (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Poetry Jean Sprackland - Tilt (Cape Poetry)
  • Children's Book Ann Kelley - The Bower Bird (Luath Press Limited)

2008

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture (Faber & Faber)
  • First Novel Sadie Jones - The Outcast (Chatto & Windus)
  • Biography Diana Athill - Somewhere Towards the End (Granta)
  • Poetry Adam Foulds - The Broken Word (Jonathan Cape)
  • Children's Book Michelle Magorian - Just Henry (Egmont Press)

2009

  • Novel Colm Tóibín - Brooklyn (Viking)
  • First Novel Raphael Selbourne - Beauty (Tindal Street Press)
  • Biography Graham Farmelo - The Strangest Man – The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius (Faber & Faber)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Christopher Reid - A Scattering (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book Patrick Ness - The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking, Book Two (Walker Books)

2010

  • Novel Maggie O'Farrell - The Hand that First Held Mine (Headline Review)
  • First Novel Kishwar Desai - Witness the Night (Beautiful Books)
  • Biography Edmund de Waal - The Hare with Amber Eyes (Chatto & Windus)
  • Poetry (Book of the Year) Jo Shapcott - Of Mutability (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book Jason Wallace - Out of Shadows (Andersen Press)

2011

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Andrew Miller - Pure (Sceptre)
  • First Novel Christie Watson - Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (Quercus)
  • Biography Matthew Hollis - Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber & Faber)
  • Poetry Carol Ann Duffy - The Bees (Picador)
  • Children's Book Moira Young - Blood Red Road (Marion Lloyd Books)

2012

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Hilary Mantel - Bring Up The Bodies (Fourth Estate)
  • First Novel Francesca Segal - The Innocents (Chatto & Windus)
  • Biography Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot - Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Jonathan Cape)
  • Poetry Kathleen Jamie - The Overhaul (Picador)
  • Children's Book Sally Gardner - Maggot Moon (Hot Key Books)

2013

  • Novel Kate Atkinson - Life After Life (Doubleday)
  • First Novel (Book of the Year) Nathan Filer - The Shock of the Fall (Borough Press)
  • Biography Lucy Hughes-Hallett - The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War (Fourth Estate)
  • Poetry Michael Symmons-Roberts - Drysalter (Jonathan Cape)
  • Children's Book Chris Riddell - Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Macmillan Children's Books)

2014

  • Novel Ali Smith - How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)
  • First Novel Emma Healey - Elizabeth is Missing (Viking)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Helen Macdonald - H Is For Hawk (Random House)
  • Poetry Jonathan Edwards - My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren)
  • Children's Book Kate Saunders - Five Children on the Western Front (Faber & Faber)

2015

  • Novel Kate Atkinson - A God in Ruins (Doubleday)
  • First Novel Andrew Michael Hurley - The Loney (John Murray)
  • Biography Andrea Wulf - The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, The Lost Hero of Science (John Murray)
  • Poetry Don Paterson - 40 Sonnets (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book (Book of the Year) Frances Hardinge - The Lie Tree (Macmillan Children's Books)

2016

  • Novel (Book of the Year) Sebastian Barry - Days Without End (Faber & Faber)
  • First Novel Francis Spufford - Golden Hill (Faber & Faber)
  • Biography Keggie Carew - Dadland (Chatto & Windus)
  • Poetry Alice Oswald - Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape Poetry)
  • Children's Book Brian Conaghan - The Bombs That Brought Us Together (Bloomsbury)

2017

2018

  • Novel Sally Rooney - Normal People (Faber & Faber)
  • First Novel Stuart Turton - The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Bloomsbury Books)
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Bart van Es - The Cut Out Girl (Fig Tree Books)
  • Poetry J. O. Morgan - Assurances (Jonathan Cape)
  • Children's Book Hilary McKay - The Skylarks' War (Macmillan Children's Books)

2019

  • Novel Jonathan Coe - Middle England (Viking)
  • First Novel Sara Collins - The Confessions of Frannie Langton
  • Biography (Book of the Year) Jack Fairweather - The Volunteer (WH Allen)
  • Poetry Mary Jean Chan - Flèche (Faber & Faber)
  • Children's Book Jasbinder Bilan - Asha & the Spirit Bird (Chicken House)