Belfast Telegraph

Poet receives posthumous nomination on Costa Book Awards shortlist

Twenty authors have been nominated across the five categories overall.

British poet and novelist Helen Dunmore has received a posthumous nomination on the Costa Book Awards 2017 shortlist.

The awards, the only major UK book prize which is open solely to authors living in the UK and Ireland, recognises books across five categories: first novel, novel, biography, poetry, and children’s book.

Orange Prize-winning writer Dunmore, who died aged 64 in June from cancer, has been nominated in the poetry category for Inside The Wave.

The Birdcage Walk author is joined in the category by Kayo Chingonyi and Richard Osmond, both of whom have been nominated for their debut collections, and Sinead Morrissey, who earlier this year won the Forward Prize for Poetry for her sixth collection On Balance.

Twenty authors have been nominated across the five categories overall, fending off competition from a total of 620 entries.

Stef Penney, who won the Costa Book of the Year award in 2006, is shortlisted in the novel category this year along with Jon McGregor, Kamila Shamsie and actor and novelist Sarah Winman.

A book that is being adapted into a film by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, is on the shortlist for the first novel prize.

The children’s book award is this year dominated by female writers: Lissa Evans, Sarah Crossan, Katherine Rundell and Kiran Millwood Hargrave, who is also a judge for the Costa poetry prize.

Each category is presided over by three judges, and this year’s judging line-up includes BBC presenter Sophie Raworth, authors Freya North and Lucy Atkins, and book blogger and vlogger Simon Savidge.

Dominic Paul, managing director of Costa, said: “These shortlists are a showcase of everything the Costa Book Awards celebrate: terrific books with broad appeal that will be enjoyed by readers of all tastes.

“The category judges have done a fantastic job in selecting these 20 brilliant, exciting books. My thanks to them, and many congratulations to all of this year’s shortlisted authors.”

Books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between November 1 2016 and October 31 2017 to be eligible for inclusion in this year’s awards, and the author must have resided in the UK for the previous three years.

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on January 2.

The overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year for 2017 will receive £30,000, and will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London on January 30.

The 2016 Costa Book of the Year prize was won by Sebastian Barry for Days Without End.

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