The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership from Whitbread.
The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
It's unique for having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.
The winner in each category receives £5,000, and then one of the five winning books is selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year, receiving a further £30,000, and making a total prize fund of £55,000. The Costa is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way.
New for 2012, the Costa Short Story Award was announced. This is an award for a single story and was not be voted for against the other categories. Over 1800 entries were received, all of which were judged anonymously. The six shortlisted stories were available for the public to download, read and vote for from the end of November 2012.
Voting closed at 12 noon today, Wednesday, 23rd January.
The six anonymous stories are:-
Don’t Try This At Home
Millie and Bird
Small Town Removal
Trompette de la Morte
Hopefully, you will have download the six stories and voted for your favourite.
The winner of the Short Story Award, together with the overall Costa Book of the Year winner, will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in London on Tuesday, 29th January.