Costa Book Awards 2019

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and which recognises some of the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

The Category Winners form the shortlist for the 2019 Costa Book of the Year Award, the winner of which was announced on 28 January. This year, the judging panel for Book of the Year was chaired by broadcast journalist and author Sian Williams and comprised of category judges Clare Mackintosh, John Boyne, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, Jade Cuttle and Bali Rai, joined by actor, comedian and author Ben Miller, actor Hugh Quarshie and broadcaster Anneka Rice.


The 2019 Costa Book of the Year Award Winner

The Volunteer wins the Costa Book of the Year Award


The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz

Jack Fairweather


Jack Fairweather, an award-winning former war reporter, has won the 2019 Costa Book of the Year award with a landmark account of one of the greatest unsung heroes of WWII, Polish underground operative Witold Pilecki, who infiltrated the Auschwitz concentration camp and endeavoured to get information to the outside world on the horrors of the holocaust. The book was hailed as “a book that needs to be read” by the Sian Williams, who chaired this year's judging panel.

Learn more


The Category Winners: The Book of the Year Award Shortlist

THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD


The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Sara Collins


Sara Collins, a former lawyer, has won the First Novel Award with her gothic romance about a twisted love affair between a Jamaican maid and her French mistress in 19th Century London.

Learn more

THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD


Middle England

Jonathan Coe


Multi-award-winning author Jonathan Coe has won the Costa Novel Award for Middle England, his thirteenth novel. Middle England tells the story of a changing country and the cracks that begin to appear within families and between generations.

Learn more

THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD


The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz

Jack Fairweather


A landmark account of one of the greatest unsung heroes of WWII, Polish underground operative Witold Pilecki, from award-winning former war reporter Jack Fairweather, wins the Costa Biography Award.

Learn more

THE COSTA POETRY AWARD


Flèche

Mary Jean Chan


Hong Kong-born poet Mary Jean Chan wins the Costa Poetry Award for Flèche, her debut collection exploring themes of multilingualism, queerness, psychoanalysis and cultural history.

Learn more

THE COSTA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD


Asha & the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan


The first book written by Jasbinder Bilan, Asha & the Spirit Bird is a thrilling adventure set in contemporary India, drawing on the rich heritage of Bilan's family history and wins this year's Costa Children's Book Award.

Learn more