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WORD: Costa Book Awards 2008 category winners announced
Edited Press Release

Costa, the UK's largest and fastest-growing coffee shop chain, announced the Costa Book Awards 2008 winners in the Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book categories. The Costa Book Awards recognize the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread PLC, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK's popular and prestigious book prize in 2006. The five successful authors who will now compete for the 2008 Costa Book of the Year are as follows:

Sadie Jones, whose bestselling debut novel, "The Outcast," scoops the First Novel Award.

Sebastian Barry, who triumphs in the Novel Award category for "The Secret Scripture" after missing out on the Man Booker.

Diana Athill, who wins the Costa Biography Award for her memoir, "Somewhere Towards the End." At the age of  91, Diana is the oldest-ever category-winning author in the history of the Book Awards.

Adam Foulds with his debut work of poetry about the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya, "The Broken Word."

Michelle Magorian, the popular author of "Goodnight Mr Tom," who wins the Children’s Book Award for "Just Henry," her first new book in ten years.

"The Costa Book Awards have an excellent track record of recognising and celebrating some of the very best current British writing, and books that can be enjoyed by everyone," said John Derkach, Managing Director, Costa.

"We’re very proud to be announcing such an outstanding collection of books which we know people will enjoy reading. Our final judges will have a tough time selecting just one from these five for the title of Costa Book of the Year - but it makes for a very exciting awards ceremony later this month."

The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 616 entries, the highest ever. The five books are now eligible for the ultimate prize - the 2008 Costa Book of the Year. 

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges chaired by columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris and including Rosamund Pike, Michael Buerk, Alexander Armstrong and Andrea Catherwood. It will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Mariella Frostrup at the Intercontinental Hotel in central London on Tuesday, January 27, 2009.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won eight times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book. The 2007 Costa Book of the Year was won by A.L. Kennedy for "Day."

For additional information go to www.costabookawards.com.


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