Novelist Wendy Holden will chair the final judging panel to select the overall winner of the 2017 Costa Book of the Year.
The Awards recognise the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - published in the last year.
The final nine-member panel which selects the overall Costa Book of the Year is made up of a chairman, a judge from each category panel and three other well-known people in the public eye who are outside of the publishing world and who love reading.
Holden will chair the panel this year, which comprises author and TV presenter, Fern Britton; "The Jewel in the Crown" and "Indian Summers" actor Art Malik and model and contributing editor at British Vogue, Laura Bailey.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be appointed chair of the Costa Book of the Year judging panel,” said Holden. “The Costa Book Awards is rightly the nation’s most popular literary prize. It sets trends and unearths wonderful new writers. The world of British books is much richer because of this prize.”
The five category judging panels are represented by author Freya North (Novel), BBC presenter and journalist Sophie Raworth (First Novel), author Simon Garfield (Biography), poet Moniza Alvi (Poetry), and author Piers Torday (Children’s Book).
The final judges will meet on Tuesday 30th January 2018 to select the winner of the Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced at an awards ceremony later that evening.
The ceremony, hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith, will take place at Quaglino’s in central London.
Last year's Book of the Year winner was Sebastian Barry for Days Without End (Faber).
Each of the five category award-winning authors receives £5,000 and the author of the overall Costa Book of the Year will be presented with a cheque for £30,000.
The winner of the Costa Short Story Award – now in its sixth year and voted for by the general public - will also be announced at the awards ceremony.