Booksellers from WH Smith, Waterstones, Sam Read Books, Libreria and West End Lane Books are to join judging panels for The Costa Book Awards 2019.
The booksellers will select shortlists and decide the winners across five categories, in a year which sees the highest number of submissions to date at 699.
Will Smith of Sam Read Books, Grasmere, will judge alongside author Clare Mackintosh and writer Mahsuda Snaith for the Costa First Novel Award. WH Smith’s e-commerce trading controller Sarah Turner will decide the Costa Best Novel Award with novelist John Boyne and Stylist contributing books editor Francesca Brown.
Waterstones’ audience development manager Will Rycroft will judge the Biography category with historian Professor Suzannah Lipscomb and the Times deputy books editor James Marriott. Danny van Emden, children's buyer and deputy manager at West End Lane Books in West Hampstead, London, will decide the Costa Children’s Book Award alongside The Bookseller’s Charlotte Eyre and writer Bali Rai.
The Poetry Award will be judged by Rohan Silva, founder of bookshop Libreria and co-founder and c.e.o. of Second Home, with poet Jade Cuttle and writer Kate Clanchy.
The shortlists will be announced on Tuesday 26th November and the category winners (receiving £5,000 apiece) will be revealed on Monday 6th January 2020. The overall Costa Book of the Year (£30,000) will be announced on Tuesday 28th January 2020. The overall award was won last year by Bart van Es for biography The Cut Out Girl (Fig Tree).