Costa Book Awards

The Whitbread Book Award was established in 1971 to encourage, promote and celebrate the enjoyment of reading


They became the Costa Book Awards in 2006.


Highlighted books are the winners of the BOOK OF THE YEAR award as well as their category win.
Books marked with an (R) are ones I've read but not reviewed.
Books in green are on my TBR pile.



1971 Winners
Novel: Gerda Charles, The Destiny Waltz
Biography: Michael Meyer, Henrik Ibsen
Poetry: Geoffrey Hill, Mercian Hymns

1972 Awards
Novel: Susan Hill, The Bird of Night
Biography: James Pope-Hennessey, Trollope
Children's Book: Rumer Godden, The Diddakoi

1973 Awards
Novel: Shiva Naipaul, The Chip Chip Gatherers
Biography: John Wilson, CB: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Children's Book: Alan Aldridge & William Plomer, The Butterfly Ball & The Grasshopper's Feast

1974 Awards
Novel: Iris Murdoch, The Sacred and Profane Love Machine
Biography: Andrew Boyle, Poor Dear Brendan
Joint Children's Books: Russell Hoban & Quentin Blake, How Tom Beat Captain Bjork & His Hired Sportsmen and Jill Paton Walsh, The Emperor's Winding Sheet
First Book: Claire Tomalin, The Life & Death of Mary Wollstonecraft

1975 Awards
Novel: William McIlvanney, Docherty
Autobiography: Helen Corke, In Our Infancy
First Book: Ruth Spalding, The Improbable Puritan: A Life of Bulstrode Whitelock

1976 Awards
Novel: William Trevor, The Children of Dynmouth
Biography: Winifred Gerin, Elizabeth Gaskell
Children's Book: Penelope Lively, A Stitch in Time  (R)

1977 Awards
Novel: Beryl Bainbridge, Energy Time
Biography: Nigel Nicolson, Mary Curzon
Children's Book: Shelagh Macdonald, No End to Yesterday

1978 Awards
Novel: Paul Theroux, Picture Palace
Biography: John Grigg, Lloyd George: The People's Champion
Children's Novel: Philippa Pearce, The Battle of Bubble & Squeak

1979 Awards
Novel: Jennifer Johnston, The Old Jest
Autobiography: About Time, Penelope Mortimer
Children's Novel: Peter Dickinson, Tulku

1980 Awards
Novel: David Lodge, How Far Can You Go?
Biography: David Newsome, On the Edge of Paradise: A.C. Benson the Diarist
Children's Novel: Leon Garfield, John Diamond

1981 Awards
Novel: Maurice Leitch, Silver's City
First Novel: William Boyd, A Good Man in Africa
Biography: Nigel Hamilton, Monty: The Making of a General
Children's Novel: Jane Gardam, The Hollow Land

1982 Awards
Novel: John Wain, Young Shoulders
First Novel: Bruce Chatwin, On the Black Hill
Biography: Edward Crankshaw, Bismarck
Children's Novel: W.J. Corbett, The Song of Pentecost

1983 Awards
Novel: William Trevor, Fools of Fortune
First Novel: John Fuller, Flying to Nowhere
Joint Biography; Victoria Glendinning, Vita and Kenneth Rose, King George V
Children's Novel: Roald Dahl, The Witches

1984 Awards
Novel: Christopher Hope, Kruger's Alp
First Novel: James Buchan, A Parish of Rich Women
Biography: Peter Ackroyd, T.S. Eliot
Short Story: Diane Rowe, Tomorrow is Our Permanent Address
Children's Novel: Barbara Willard, The Queen of the Pharisees' Children

1985 Awards
Novel: Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor
First Novel: Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit   (R)
Biography: Ben Pimlott, Hugh Dalton
Poetry: Douglas Dunn, Elegies
Children's Novel: Janni Howker, The Nature of the Beast

1986 Awards
Novel: Kazuo Ishiguro, An Artist of the Floating World
First Novel: Jim Crace, Continent
Biography: Richard Mabey, Gilbert White
Poetry: Peter Reading, Stet
Children's Novel: Andrew Taylor, The Coal House

1987 Awards
Novel: Ian McEwan, The Child in Time
First Novel: Francis Wyndham, The Other Garden
Biography: Christopher Nolan, Under the Eye of the Clock
Poetry: Seamus Heaney, The Haw Lantern
Children's Novel: Geraldine McCaughrean, A Little Lower than the Angels

1988 Awards
Novel: Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
First Novel: Paul Sayer, The Comforts of Madness
Biography: A.N. Wilson, Tolstoy
Poetry: Peter Porter, The Automatic Oracle
Children's Novel: Judy Allen, Awaiting Developments

1989 Awards
Novel: Lindsay Clarke, The Chymical Wedding
First Novel: James Hamilton-Paterson, Gerontius
Biography: Richard Holmes, Coleridge: The Early Visions
Poetry: Michael Donaghy, Shibboleth
Children's Novel: Hugh Scott, Why Weeps the Brogan?

1990 Awards
Novel: Nicholas Mosley, Hopeful Monsters
First Novel: Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia
Biography: Ann Thwaite, A.A. Milne: His Life
Poetry: Paul Durcan, Daddy, Daddy
Children's Novel: Peter Dickinson, AK

1991 Awards
Novel: Jane Gardam, The Queen of the Tambourine
First Novel: Gordon Burn, Alma Cogan
Biography: John Richardson, A Life of Picasso
Poetry: Michael Longley, Gorse Fires
Children's Novel: Diana Hendry, Harvey Angell

1992 Awards
Novel: Alasdair Gray, Poor Things
First Novel: Jeff Torrington, Swing Hammer Swing!
Biography: Victoria Glendinning, Trollope
Poetry: Tony Harrison, The Gaze of the Gorgon
Children's Novel: Gillian Cross, The Great Elephant Chase

1993 Awards
Novel: Joan Brady, Theory of War
First Novel: Rachel Cusk, Saving Agnes
Biography: Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life
Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy, Mean Time
Children's Novel: Anne Fine, Flour Babies

1994 Awards
Novel: William Trevor, Felicia's Journey   (R)
First Novel: Fred D'Aguiar, The Longest Memory
Biography: Brenda Maddox, D.H. Lawrence: The Married Man
Poetry: James Fenton, Out of Danger
Children's Novel: Geraldine McCaughrean, Gold Dust

1995 Awards
Novel: Salman Rushdie, The Moor's Last Sigh  (shortlisted: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled)
First Novel: Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Biography: Roy Jenkins, Gladstone (shortlisted: Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth)
Poetry: Bernard O'Donoghue, Gunpowder
Children's Novel: Michael Mopurgo, The Wreck of the Zanzibar

1996 Awards
First Novel: John Lanchester, The Debt to Pleasure
Bigoraphy: Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life
Poetry: Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level
Children's Book: Anne Fine, The Tulip Touch

1997 Awards
Novel: Jim Crace, Quarantine  (shortlisted: Ian McEwen, Enduring Love   (R))
First Novel: Pauline Melville, The Ventriloquist's Tale
Biography: Graham Robb, Victor Hugo
Poetry: Ted Hughes, Tales from Ovid
Children's Book: Andrew Norriss, Aquila

1998 Awards
Novel: W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz  (R)
Fiction: Justin Cartwright, Leading the Cheers
First Novel: Giles Foden, The Last King of Scotland
Biography: Amanda Foreman, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Poetry: Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters
Children's Book: David Almond, Skellig  (shortlisted: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

1999 Awards
Novel: Rose Tremain, Music and Silence  (shortlisted: Joanne Harris, Chocolat (R)
First Novel: Tim Lott, White City Blue
Biography: David Cairns, Berlioz, Volume 2
Poetry: Seamus Heaney, Beowulf

2000 Awards
Novel: Matthew Kneale, English Passengers
First Novel: Zadie Smith, White Teeth
Biography/Autobiography: Lorna Sage, Bad Blood
Poetry: John Burnside, The Asylum Dance
Children's Book: Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy

2001 Awards
Novel: Patrick Neate, Twelve Bar Blues  (Shortlisted: Ian McEwen, Atonement (R))
First Novel: Sid Smith, Something Like a House
Biography: Diane Souhami, Selkirk's Island
Poetry: Selima Hill, Bunny
Children's Book: Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass   (R)

2002 Awards
Novel: Michael Frayn, Spies   (R)
First Novel: Norman Lebrecht, The Song of Names
Biography: Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Poetry: Paul Farley, The Ice Age
Children's Book: Hilary McKay, Saffy's Angel

2003 Awards
Novel: Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time  (R)
First Novel: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
Biography: D.J. Taylor, Orwell: The Life
Poetry: Don Paterson, Landing Light
Children's Book: David Almond, The Fire-Eaters

2004 Awards
Novel: Andrea Levy, Small Island
First Novel: Susan Fletcher, Eve Green
Biography: John Guy: My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots
Poetry: Michael Simmons Roberts, Corpus
Children's Book: Geraldine McCaughrean, Not the End of the World (Shortlisted: Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now)

2005 Awards
Novel: Ali Smith, The Accidental
First Novel: Tash Aw, The Harmony Silk Factory
Biography: Hilary Spurling, Matisse: The Master
Poetry: Christopher Logue, Cold Calls
Children's Book: Kate Thompson, The New Policeman

2006 Awards
Novel: William Boyd, Restless  (Shortlisted: David Mitchell, Black Swan Green)
First Novel: Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves
Biography: Brian Thompson, Keeping Mum
Poetry: John Haynes, Letter to Patience
Children's Book: Linda Newbery, Set in Stone

2007 Awards
Novel: A.L. Kennedy, Day
First Novel: Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost
Biography: Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin
Poetry: Jean Sprackland, Tilt
Children's Book: Ann Kelley, The Bower Bird (Shortlisted: Marcus Sedgwick, Blood Red Snow White)

2008 Awards
Novel: Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture  (Shortlisted: Chris Cleave, The Other Hand (R))
First Novel: Sadie Jones, The Outcast
Biography: Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End
Poetry: Adam Foulds, The Broken World
Children's Book: Michelle Magorian, Just Henry

2009 Awards
First Novel: Raphael Selbourne, Beauty
Biography: Graham Farmelo, The Strangest Man
Poetry: Christopher Reid, A Scattering
Children's Book: Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

2010 Awards
Novel: Maggie O'Farrell, The Hand That First Held Mine
First Novel: Kishwar Desai, Witness the Night
Poetry: Jo Shapcott, Of Mutability
Children's Book: Jason Wallace, Out of Shadows

2011 Awards
Novel: Andrew Miller, Pure  (Shortlisted: Julian Barnes, Sense of An Ending (R))
First Novel: Christie Watson, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
Biography: Matthew Hollis, Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas
Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees
Children's Book: Moira Young, Blood Red Road

2012 Awards
First Novel: Francesca Segal, The Innocents
Biography: Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Shortlisted: Artemis Cooper, Patrick Leigh-Fermor An Adventure)
Poetry: Kathleen Jamie, The Overhaul
Children's Book: Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon

2013 Awards
Novel: Kate Atkinson, Life After Life
First Novel: Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall
Biography: Lucy Hughes-Hallett, The Pike: Gabriele d'Annunzio, Poet, Seducer, & Preacher of War
Poetry: Michael Symmons Roberts, Drysalter
Children's Book: Chris Riddell, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

2014 Awards
First Novel: Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing
Novel: Ali Smith, How to be both (Shortlisted: Colm Toibin, Nora Webster)            
Biography: Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
Poetry: Jonathan Edwards, My Family and Other Superheroes                  
Children’s Book:  Kate Saunders, Five Children on the Western Front (Shortlisted: Marcus Sedgwick, The Ghosts of Heaven)

2015 Awards
Novel: Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins  (Shortlisted: Anne Enright, The Green Road)
First Novel: Andrew Michael Hurley, The Loney
Poetry: Don Paterson, 40 Sonnets
Children's Book: Frances Hardinge, The Lie Tree

2016 Awards
Novel: Sebastian Barry, Days Without End
First Novel: Francis Spufford, Golden Hill
Biography: Keggie Carew, Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory
Poetry: Alice Oswald, Falling Awake
Children's Book: Brian Conaghan, The Bombs That Brought Us Together.

2017 Awards
Novel:
First Novel:
Biography:
Poetry:
Children's Book:

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