Entertainment & Arts

Costa Book Awards: 2012 shortlists announced

Hilary Mantel
Image caption Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies won the Man Booker Prize earlier this year

Hilary Mantel, James Meek, Stephen May and Joff Winterhart have been shortlisted for best novel in the Costa Book Awards.

The awards showcase published works from the last year.

Winners for first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children's book will each win £5,000 and will be announced on 2 January 2013.

The overall winner, who will receive £30,000 for book of the year, will be revealed on 29 January.

Nominees have to be based in the UK or Ireland.

Since the overall prize was introduced in 1985, it has been won predominantly by novelists and poets.

Andrew Miller won last year for his fictional story Pure, about an engineer named Jean-Baptiste Baratte working in a Parisian cemetery in the run-up to the French Revolution.

The winner of the inaugural Costa short story award, which is voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony.

The six shortlisted stories will be unveiled on the Costa Book Awards official site two days before the event.

Graphic works have been included in the shortlists for the first time this year.

Joff Winterhart's Days of the Bagnold Summer is mentioned in the novel category, while graphic memoir Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot is in the biography list.

Winterhart is up against Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize, as well as Stephen May's Life! Death! Prizes! and James Meek's The Heart Broke In.

Image caption Andrew Miller won the Costa Book of the Year prize for his 2011 novel Pure at the ceremony in January

In the poetry category, newcomer Sean Borodale has been nominated for his debut full-length collection Bee Journal. He is pitted against award-winning poets Julia Copus, Selima Hill and Kathleen Jamie.

JW Ironmonger, author of The Good Zoo Guide, has been voted in the first novel category for The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder, alongside Jess Richards for Snakes Ropes, Francesca Segal for The Innocents and former singer-songwriter Benjamin Wood, for The Bellwether Revivals.

The children's book nominees are debut writer and illustrator Dave Shelton; Diana Hendry, who won the Whitbread children's novel award in 1991; former set and costume designer Sally Gardner; and teen fiction writer Hayley Long.

Costa took over sponsorship of the book awards in 2006, 33 years after it was established by Whitbread.

To be eligible, books need to have been first published in the UK or Ireland between 1 November 2011 and 31 October 2012.

Three judges per category are in place to choose the winners out of a total of 550 entries.

They include author and comedian Mark Watson, writers Wendy Holden, Marcus Sedgwick and Matt Whyman, broadcaster Janet Ellis and the novelist and biographer DJ Taylor.

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