Coleraine born writer in running for Costa Book Award

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A Coleraine born writer is in the running for this year’s Costa Book Award.

Maggie O’Farrell was born in Coleraine in 1972, but grew up in Wales and Scotland. She now lives with her family in London.

O’Farrell worked as a journalist and deputy literary editor at The Independent on Sunday before releasing her debut novel, ‘After You’d Gone’, which won a Betty Trask Award.

The talented writer is no stranger to awards. In 2010 she claimed a Costa Award for her novel ‘The Hand That First Held Mine’, despite revealing that several publishers had turned the book down.

The awards reward enjoyability by writers based in the UK and Ireland. There are five categories – novel, first novel, biography,poetry and children’s book. Each of the winners then vies for the overall £30,000 book of the year prize.

O’Farrell’s latest offering ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’ has been nominated in the novel section of this year’s Costa Book Awards.

‘Instructions for a Heatwave’ tells the story of a family in London in 1976.

It hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back.

Judges said: “Once again, O’Farrell has created characters you fall in love with in a story that is a delicious and unputdownable read.”

The winner will be annouced in January