Costa Coffee has revealed this year’s shortlists for its Book Awards 2021 which marks the 50th year of the awards.

Winners of the 5 categories will be announced on Tuesday January 4, 2022 and will receive £5,000.

The overall winner will be awarded the 2021 Costa Book of the Year accolade, taking home £30,000 and it will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday February 1, 2022 with the winner of the Costa Short Story Award be announced.

The number of entries for 2021 reached 934, more than a 30% increase on 2020.

The awards are only open to authors resident to the UK and Ireland for the last 3 years and they recognise books first published in the UK or Ireland between Saturday November 1, 2020 and Sunday October 31, 2021 within five categories.

Jill McDonald, CEO of Costa Coffee, said: “We are delighted to celebrate these 20 brilliant books as we mark a milestone 50th anniversary year for both Costa Coffee and the Costa Book Awards.

"My thanks to the judges for putting together such outstanding lists – there’s so much here for readers to explore, enjoy, recommend and share – and my congratulations to all of this year’s shortlisted authors.”

Costa Book Awards 2021 shortlists

First Novel

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking)

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore (Granta)

Fault Lines by Emily Itami (Phoenix)

The Stranding by Kate Sawyer (Coronet)


Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)

The High House by Jessie Greengrass (Swift Press)

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed (Viking)

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak (Viking)


Consumed: A Sister’s Story by Arifa Akbar (Sceptre)
The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest by Ed Caesar (Viking)
Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston (Viking)

Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi (Allen Lane)


All the Names Given by Raymond Antrobus (Picador)
A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi (Chatto & Windus)
Eat or We Both Starve by Victoria Kennefick (Carcanet Press)
The Kids by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe Books)

Children’s Book

Maggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna Goodall (Guppy Books)

The Crossing by Manjeet Mann (Penguin)

The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery (Walker Books)

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter (Scholastic UK)