Mayo-born writer Sally Rooney’s second book Normal People and Tipperary man Donal Ryan’s From A Low and Quiet Sea have been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award, the most prestigious award for a novel open only to British and Irish authors.

Donal Ryan

Rooney and Ryan were also longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, which was won by Belfast author Anna Burns for Milkman. Rooney was also named International Author of the Year at Britain’s Specsavers National Book Awards.

The Costa judges described Ryan’s novel as "compassionate, profound and masterfully written" and Rooney’s as "bold, fresh and intensely modern".

Director Lenny Abrahamson plans to make a TV adaptation of Normal People.

The Costa Prize is divided into five categories, Novel, First Novel, Poetry, Children’s Book and Biography. Each category winner receives £5,000, announced on January 7, 2019, while the overall winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year, who will receive £30,000, and will be announced on January 29th.

Among previous Irish winners are William Trevor, who won Novel of the Year in 1976 for The Children of Dynmouth and in 1983 for Fools of Fortune, and Jennifer Johnston, who won Novel of the Year in for The Old Jest in 1979.

Seamus Heaney won the poetry prize for The Haw Lantern in 1987, while Christopher Nolan won the Biography prize for his book Under The Eye of the Clock in the same year.

The last Irish winner was Sebastian Barry won the Novel of the Year in 2016 for Days Without End.

2018 Costa Novel Award shortlist

Pat Barker for The Silence Of The Girls

Tom Rachman for The Italian Teacher

Sally Rooney for Normal People

Donal Ryan for From A Low And Quiet Sea

2018 Costa First Novel Award shortlist

Natalie Hart for Pieces Of Me

Elisa Lodato for An Unremarkable Body

Stuart Turton for The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle

Anne Youngson for Meet Me At The Museum

2018 Costa Biography Award shortlist

Viv Albertine for To Throw Away Unopened

Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl

Raynor Winn for The Salt Path

Benjamin Zephaniah for The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah: The Autobiography

2018 Costa Poetry Award shortlist

Zaffar Kunial for Us

JO Morgan for Assurances

Richard Scott for Soho

Hannah Sullivan for Three Poems

2018 Costa Children's Book Award shortlist

David Almond for The Colour Of The Sun

Candy Gourlay for Bone Talk

Matt Killeen for Orphan Monster Spy

Hilary McKay for The Skylarks' War