The Costa Book Awards marked its 50th year in 2021. This impressive event inspired Books2All to dig into the best-known English language book awards to uncover their history, purpose, our favourite winning books and the current prize winners. We are sure you will find some interesting titles in our list to fill the long winter evenings and make reading widely one of your resolutions for 2022.
Book awards choice 1: The Costa Book Awards
Originally known as The Whitbread Award, this is the only major UK book prize open exclusively to authors living in the UK and Ireland. It recognises some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. One of the five winning books is then selected for the overall Costa Book of the Year award.
The Costa Book of the Year award was added in 1985 and has been won 13 times by a novel, five times by a first novel, eight times by a biography, eight times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book. And the Costa Short Story Award is now in its tenth year.
Book awards choice 2: The Booker Prizes
The Booker Prize describes itself as “the leading literary award in the English speaking world”. For over 50 years, this book award has been selecting what it considers the best novel of the year in the UK and Ireland. It is a prize and accolade that unquestionably transforms the life and career of the winning author.
Since 2005, The International Booker Prize has been acknowledging a single book from anywhere in the world other than the British Isles that has been translated into English.
Book awards choice 3: Women’s Prize For Fiction
Founded in 1992 by bestselling novelist and playwright, Kate Mosse OBE, this registered charity champions women writers to “raise their voice and own their story”. The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most respected, celebrated and successful literary awards in the world. Through programmes such as Discoveries and First Chapter it supports aspiring writers with mentoring, tools and advice.
Readers have access to the best contemporary women’s fiction through free resources online, bookshops, libraries, reading groups, hosted events and the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast.
Book awards choice 4: The James Tait Black Prizes
Established in 1919 at the University of Edinburgh, The James Tait Black Prizes is Britain’s longest-running literary award. It rewards the best fiction and biography books of the year and it added a prize for drama in 2013.
Founder, Janet Coats Black, set up the awards in honour of her late husband, James Tait Black, an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh.
On 6 December 2012, a judging panel of celebrity alumni and writers decided that Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus is the best ever winner of The James Tait Black Prizes.
Book awards choice 5: International Dylan Thomas Prize
The annual Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize has showcased the work of young writers worldwide since 2006. The Prize is for the best published literary work in the English language by a writer aged 39 or under.
The award’s website describes its namesake Dylan Thomas: “the quintessential adolescent writer, was ideally suited to serve as an inspiration to young writers everywhere”.
Book awards choice 6: Blue Peter Book Awards
It wouldn’t be Books2All if we didn’t include our main audience – children!
The Blue Peter Book Awards started in 2000 and has been managed by the reading charity, Booktrust, since 2006. The BBC television programme Blue Peter confers these literary awards for children’s books, with a prize for Best Story and for Best Story with Facts.
There are Blue Peter Book Awards judging schools across the country whose children read the shortlisted books and choose a winner from each category.
Thank you for visiting our blog. Our vision here at Books2All is a world where every child finds the books that help them reach their true potential. If you have spare books in good condition at home that you think might be appropriate for school children or represent a school and would like to register to receive donated books, please download the Books2All app from the App Store or Google Play.
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