The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident 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. This year marks the 44th year of the Book Awards.
Frances Hardinge, beat Kate Atkinson for her novel A God in Ruins, debut writer Andrew Michael Hurley for The Lonely, poet Don Patterson for 40 Sonnets, and Andrea Wulf for her biography The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Lost Hero, to win the overall prize and a cheque for £30,000.
The overall winner was announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 26th January 2016.
The winning author was decided by a judging panel that included Katy Brand, Jane Asher, Janet Ellis, Louise Doughty, Matt Haig, Penny Junor, Martyn Bedford and Julia Copus. The panel was chaired by writer and founder of Ottakar’s James Heneage.