O'Flynn a Costa winner

<p>Tindal Street Press author Catherine O&rsquo;Flynn has won the Costa First Novel Award 2007 for her d&eacute;but work, <em>What Was Lost</em>, with judges pronouncing it &quot;a formidable novel blending humour and pathos&quot;.</p><p>Joining O&rsquo;Flynn in contention for the overall Costa Book of the Year prize, which is announced on 22nd January, are Scottish novelist A L Kennedy, who won the novel category for her fifth novel, <em>Day</em> (Cape); Simon Sebag Montefiore, who took home the biography award for <em>Young Stalin</em> (Weidenfeld); Jean Sprackland, who won the poetry prize with <em>Tilt</em> (Cape); and Ann Kelley, winner of the children&rsquo;s book award for <em>The Bower Bird</em> (Luath). </p><p>All finalists win &pound;5,000, and the opening chapters of their titles feature in a book, The Finalists, which also includes the winning short story from a Costa-sponsored Woman &amp; Home magazine competition. The &pound;2 book goes on sale on Friday (4th January) in Costa outlets, and proceeds will support the Costa Foundation.</p><p>John Derkach, Costa m.d., said: &ldquo;The Finalists not only celebrates our five 2007 category winning authors, but also offers Costa the chance to introduce great writing to wider audiences and whet our customers&rsquo; appetite for more enjoyable reading.&rdquo;</p>