The Costa Book Awards occur each year in January, and honor authors based in the UK and Ireland. Books across all genres are entered by publishers in five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, Children’s Book, and from these the Book of the Year is chosen. The judges are tasked with choosing books that they would strongly recommend as well-written and enjoyable reads.
These awards began as the Whitbread Literary Awards in 1971, then became the Whitbread Book Awards in 1985. The Whitbread was taken over by Costa Roastery, a coffee company based in Londaon, and renamed the Costa Book Awards in 2006.
The Costa Short Story Award was launched in 2012 as a separate award voted for by the general public.
The deadline for submission to the Costa Book Awards is in June, and the Shortlist is announced in November. Category winners are announced at the beginning of the following January, and the Book of the Year is announced a few weeks later.