30 Sept 2022

Tipperary author shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Book Awards

Irish novelists Sally Rooney and Donal Ryan shortlisted in the Novel Award category alongside Pat Barker and journalist Tom Rachman

Tipperary author shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Book Awards

Author Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan from Nenagh has been shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Book Awards for his novel From a Low and Quiet Sea. The book follows the story of three men, from war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, scarred by all they have loved and lost, who are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways. According to the judges the book was ‘compassionate, profound and masterfully written.’

Donal's first three novels, The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December and All We Shall Know, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was recently voted ‘Irish Book of the Decade’. A former civil servant, Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.


The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises some of the most enjoyable books published in the last year across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. 

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of one of the UK's most prestigious book prizes in 2006. 2018 marks the 47th year of the Book Awards.

This year’s Costa Book Awards attracted 641 entries, the most received in one year to date. Judges on this year’s panels (three per category) 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.

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Monday 7th January 2019.  The overall winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and will be selected and announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 29th January 2019.

The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be announced at the ceremony. The shortlisted three stories for the Costa Short Story Award, now in its seventh year, will be revealed on the Costa Book Awards website,, later this month.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won twelve times by a novel, five times by a first novel, six times by a biography, eight times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book.  The 2017 Costa Book of the Year was Inside the Wave, the final collection of poetry by Helen Dunmore, published shortly before her death.

To be eligible for the 2018 Costa Book Awards, books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between 1 November 2017 and 31 October 2018 and their authors resident in the UK for the previous three years.

Full details of the shortlists follow.  For additional information please visit

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