The Costas, the only literary prize for authors from Britain and Ireland, recognise the “most enjoyable” books across five categories, with 708 books submitted this year. Two Irish authors have made it onto the 2020 shortlist. Nominated in the first novel category is Michelle Gallen, for Big Girl, Small Town, a darkly comic novel following a young Northern Irish woman whose father disappeared during the Troubles. In the poetry category, the late Eavan Boland is posthumously nominated for her collection, The Historians. The category winners, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on 4 January. The overall winner of the £30,000 Costa book of the year will be revealed on 26 January.