The judges for the Costa Book Awards have been announced, and include authors Matt Haig, Louise Doughty and Julia Copus.
The shortlists for the five categories that make up the awards – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children’s – will be announced on 17th November, with the winners announced on 4th January 2016.
The five category winners will then compete for the overall Costa Book of the Year award, which will be announced on 26th January 2016.
The Costa First Novel Award will be judged by author and journalist Hannah Beckerman, writer Haig, and Lauren Hadden, deputy editor of Psychologies Magazine.
The Costa Novel Award will be judged by Doughty, Goldsboro Books m.d. David Headley, and The Bookseller’s books editor Cathy Rentzenbrink.
Doughty said: “What’s so impressive about the entries for this year's Costa Novel Award is the range and inventiveness of their subject matter. We’ve had imaginary worlds, time travel and hauntings, along with a wonderful number and variety of more traditional narrative tales; childhood reminiscences, thrilling plots, historical stories. It demonstrates what a broad church the world of the novel is in the UK today, what a glorious smorgasbord: there really is something for everyone.”
The Costa Biography Award will be judged by Foyles’ marketing manager Simon Heafield, journalist, biographer and broadcaster Penny Junor, and author and critic Jane Shilling.
Junor said: “Last year’s judges chose a remarkable book as overall winner in H is for Hawk and, having spent a wonderful summer immersed in the contenders for this year’s Costa Book Awards, I am absolutely certain that this year’s crop of biographies promises to produce something equally remarkable. I have been knocked out by the depth of research, the scope, the originality and the talent in much of the writing. Narrowing it all down to one winner is going to be all but impossible.”
The Costa Poetry Award will be judged by poet and children’s author Copus, poetry critic Adam Newey, and Melanie Prince, co-owner of The Poetry Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye.
The Costa Children’s Book Award will be judged by writer Martyn Bedford, Waterstones’ head of children’s buying Melissa Cox, and Andrea Reece, managing editor of Books for Keeps.
A total of 638 books were entered for this year’s Costa Book Awards.
In 2012, Costa launched the Costa Short Story Award, a new Award for a single short story run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system.
A panel of five judges will select a shortlist of six entries which will be revealed in November 2015. The public will then be invited to vote online for their favourite story from the six finalists. The two runners-up and winner will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 26th January 2016.