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Caffè Nero launches major new book awards

Following in the footsteps of the Costa Book Awards, the Nero Book Awards builds on Caffè Nero’s support for the arts and are open to writers based in the UK and Ireland

The Nero Book Awards will highlight ‘outstanding books of the year’ across four categories | Photo credit: Caffè Nero


Caffè Nero has announced the launch of the Nero Book Awards to recognise outstanding literary talent among writers based in the UK and Ireland. 

Launched nearly a year after Costa Coffee ended the well-established Costa Book Awards, the Nero Book Awards will highlight ‘outstanding books of the year’ across four categories — children’s fiction, debut fiction, fiction and non-fiction — with a total prize value of £50,000 ($62,000). 

“Our venues were intended as and have come to be gathering spots where people come to talk, read and discuss issues of the day. Most of our stores are filled with books. Moreover, for the past two decades we have been supporting the arts in a variety of ways. Over the years we have partnered with Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum, The National Gallery, V&A and the Royal Academy of Arts. In the music industry we are also known as keen supporters of the ‘talented but yet to make it’; we are the place that supports and helps outstanding up-and-coming singer songwriters. So, with the arts as part of our company culture – these Awards are a natural fit for us,” said Gerry Ford, Founder and CEO, Caffè Nero. 

The Nero Book Awards will be run as a not-for-profit organisation, underwritten by Caffè Nero in partnership with The Booksellers Association, Brunel University London and the Right To Dream charity. 

The inaugural Awards will open for entries to writers across the UK and Ireland on 19 June 2023 with a shortlist of four books across each of the four categories announced in late 2023. The winning writers will then be revealed in early 2024. The awards will be judged by industry professionals, including booksellers, authors, media commentators and influencers. 

Originally launched as the Whitbread Book Awards in 1971, Costa Coffee took ownership and financing of the awards in 2005 and rebranded it as the Costa Book Awards. The total prize fund for the awards in 2021 was £60,000, with that year’s ceremony the last before the coffee chain discontinued the awards in June 2022.  

In January 2023 Caffè Nero posted strong trading across its 610 UK stores for the first six months of its 2023 financial year, with sales growing 17% year-on-year to reach £150m ($186m) during the six months ended 30 November 2022.

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