2016 Costa Book Award shortlist
Familiar names place Norwich firmly on the literary map

The 2016 Costa Novel Award shortlist was revealed last night – featuring established names and previous Costa winners alongside exciting new emerging voices. Not only is it dominated by women (14 out of the 20 writers across five categories are female), but many have a connection to International Literature Showcase, a partnership between Writers’ Centre Norwich and British Council, supported by Arts Council England. The Essex Serpent is her second novel.

Rose Tremain hosted a sold-out event at Norfolk & Norwich Festival for her latest book, The Gustav Sonata, in May this year – listen to the podcast here. Her novels have been published in 30 countries and have won numerous awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel Award (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country). She was made a CBE in 2007 and is the former Chancellor of the University of East Anglia. She lives in Norfolk and London.

First Novel Award

Guinevere Glasfurd’s first novel, The Words in My Hand, took the shape of a first full draft in 2011-12 when she was selected for WCN’s annual Words and Women Twitter feed.

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<h3>Biography Award</h3>
<p><b>Hisham Matar’s</b> debut novel, <i>In the Country of Men</i>, was published in 29 languages and won numerous international prizes, in addition to being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the <i>Guardian</i> First Book Award. His second novel, <i>Anatomy of a Disappearance</i>, was published to great acclaim in 2011. The same year, Hisham visited Norwich to take part in WCN’s <a href=Her visiting positions have included A D White Professor at Cornell University in the US, Writer-in-Residence at the Tate Gallery in London, and Visiting Fellow at Birkbeck College in the University of London. Her latest collection, Say Something Back, was also shortlisted for the 2016 T.S.Eliot prize.


The winners of each Costa Book Award category will be announced on 3 January 2017, where they will each be awarded £5,000. Those five winners will then be considered for the Costa Book of the Year, which will see the winner awarded £30,000 at a ceremony on 31 January 2017.

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