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WORD: Women lead debut category in Costa Book Awards 2007 Shortlist

Emigrant writers dominated all-female First Novel category shortlist as Costa, the UK’s fastest-growing coffee shop chain, announced the shortlists for the 2007 Costa Book Awards in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book Award categories, recognizing the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

The 2007 Costa Novel Award shortlist included Neil Bartlett for Skin Lane (Serpent’s Tail), A.L. Kennedy for Day (Jonathan Cape), Rupert Thomson for Death of a Murderer (Bloomsbury) and Rose Tremain for The Road Home (Chatto & Windus).

Meanwhile, in the First Novel Award category, Costa said its shortlist included four women authors: Tahmima Anam for A Golden Age (John Murray), Catherine O’Flynn for What Was Lost (Tindal Street Press), Nikita Lalwani for Gifted (Viking) and Roma Tearne for Mosquito (HarperPress).

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Thursday, January 3, 2008. The overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2007 will receive £25,000 (roughly $50,000) and will be selected and announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

This year’s Costa Book Awards, which was originally established in 1971 and has become the UK’s most prestigious book award, attracted 553 entries and included a record number of submissions in both the Novel and Children’s Book Award categories, with 150 and 138 entries, respectively.

Judges on the 2007 panels (three per category) included actress and writer Helen Lederer, author and lyricist Polly Samson, writer and columnist Danny Danziger and broadcaster and journalist Julia Somerville.


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