This is the 47th year of the awards, recognizing talent across five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children's Book. It attracted 641 entries, the most received in one year to date.
The award is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland. Each winner in the sub-categories will receive £5,000, announced on January 7, 2019, while the overall winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000. The latter will be announced on January 29, 2019, according to independent.co.uk.
Dominic Paul, managing director of Costa said, "There's genuinely something for everyone in our shortlists this year: Books which will make you laugh and books which will make you cry; books which will make you think; books which you'll read late into the night; and, most of all, books which you'll want to recommend and pass on to others. My sincere thanks go to all our 15 category judges who've done such an excellent job of selecting 20 of this year's most exciting, inspiring and enjoyable reads."
A sixth category, the Costa Short Story Award, will be voted for by the public and will be announced at the ceremony. The shortlist will be announced on the Costa Book Awards website later this month.
The judges on this year's panels included authors Paula Byrne and Rachel Joyce; journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera; poet Mimi Khalvati; journalist, critic, and writer Anita Sethi and RTE broadcaster Rick O'Shea.