Booksellers to judge 2014 Costa Book Awards

Booksellers to judge 2014 Costa Book Awards

Anna Dreda of Wenlock Books, Sheila O’Reilly of Dulwich Books and Jasper Sutcliffe of Foyles are among the judges for the 2014 Costa Book Awards.

Dreda is on the judging panel for the Costa Poetry Award, with poets Charlotte Runcie and Owen Sheers.

O’Reilly will judge the entries for the Costa Biography Award alongside Paul Laity, non-fiction books editor at the Guardian, and author and freelance journalist Wendy Moore.

Sutcliffe, head of buying at Foyles, will judge the Costal Novel Award category alongside writers Bernardine Evaristo and Elizabeth Buchan. Buchan said of the Novel category: “The breadth of subject and approach in this year’s entries shows a universal confidence and boldness. This is the category which showcases the authors who have had time to work at their craft and to clarify their vision. One thing is for sure: on this showing, the novel is certainly not dead but alive, kicking and making waves.”

The judging panel for the Costa First Novel Award will consist of writer Maggie O’Farrell, Good Housekeeping books editor Joanne Finney, and Joe Haddow, producer of BBC Radio 2’s “Book Club”. Haddow said: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Book Awards and I just know it’s going to be a hard task to choose our shortlist and winner out of all the brilliant first novels we have received this year.”  

Children’s book consultant Jake Hope will be judging the Costa Children’s Book Award category with Lorna Bradbury, deputy literary editor of the Daily Telegraph, and children’s author Jonathan Stroud.

The Costa Book Awards celebrate the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. Last year’s winner was Nathan Filer for The Shock of the Fall (HarperCollins).

A total of 640 books were entered for this year’s Costa Book Awards, the highest number of entries ever received in one year. This year also saw the highest-ever number of entries in the First Novel category (125 books) and the Novel category (182 books).  

The judges will select shortlists in each category, to be announced on Tuesday 18th November, and winners in their respective categories, to be announced on Monday 5th January 2015. The five award winners will form the shortlist for the 2014 Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 27th January 2015.

The Costa Short Story Award, launched in 2012, will run in association with the Costa Book Awards but be judged independently.  The Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English.

A panel of five judges will select a shortlist of six entries, which will be revealed in November 2014. 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. Last year’s winner was Angela Readman for her tale "The Keeper and the Jackalopes".