The Costa Book Awards, which was founded in 1971 and known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, is no more. Today, Costa Coffee announced that the 2021 Costa Book Awards, held in February 2022, would be the last iteration of the prizes.
“We are incredibly proud to have played a part in supporting some of the best-selling authors of the last 50 years as well as trailblazing diverse and fresh voices, tackling a broad range of themes and ideas, across fiction, poetry and biography,” reads a statement on the Costa Coffee website. “And we are honored to have helped both these new and established talents reach a wider audience of readers.”
The Costa Book Awards were a set of annual literary awards that recognized and honor British and Irish writers working in English. Each award came with £5,000; the author of the Costa Book of the Year received an additional £30,000.
“The Costa has played such a huge part in the publishing world over the last 50 years,” Simon & Schuster UK’s Ian Chapman told The Bookseller, “leading the way to support bestselling and trailblazing authors and it’s been a pleasure to see the shortlist and winners every year. The industry would not be where it is now without the award and I hope that we’re able to find something to fill the gap and continue reaching a wider audience of readers.”