The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
It’s unique for having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.
The winner in each category receives £5,000, and then one of the five winning books is selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year, receiving a further £30,000, and making a total prize fund of £55,000. The Costa is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way.
The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership from Whitbread.
The 2011 shortlist was announced yesterday. The candidates for each of the categories are strong this year and include; Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending and Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens: A Life.
Why not enlist the support of Words Worth Reading Ltd to write your next adult or children's book!