The winners of the 2007 Costa Book Awards, formerly known as the Whitbread Literary Awards, were announced recently in London. Jean Sprackland won in poetry for her collection Tilt (Jonathan Cape), Catherine O’Flynn won the first novel award for What Was Lost (Tindal Street Press), and A. L. Kennedy won the novel award for Day (Jonathan Cape). Each received £5,000 (approximately $9,865), and their books will advance to compete for the Costa Book of the Year Award, which carries with it a prize of £25,000 (approximately $49,324).
The judges were Vicki Feaver and Sion Hamilton for poetry; Nic Bottomley, Helen Lederer, and Sebastian Shakespeare for first novels; and Sam Leith, Nigel Rees, and Polly Samson for novels. One judge from each category will join the panel to determine the Book of the Year.
The Costa Book Awards are given to residents of the United Kingdom or Ireland to honor "some of the most enjoyable books" published in the previous year. The overall winner will be announced on January 22.