The Irish author Joseph O'Connor has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award for his book Shadowplay.

The book tells the story of a period Bram Stoker spent in London in 1878 and his friendship with actors Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. 

The Costa judges described it as an atmospheric novel, offering a thrilling insight into the creative minds of writers and actors. 

The winners of this year's Costa Book Awards will be announced in January.

Mr O'Connor is up against Jonathan Coe for Middle England; Sophie Hardach for Confession With Blue Horses and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan for Starling Days for the Novel award.

The 2019 awards also gives prizes for first novel, biography, poetry and children's book.

Meanwhile, a debut novel by "the poet laureate of Twitter" has been shortlisted in the First Novel category.

Brian Bilston, 49, has more than 68,000 followers on the social media platform, where he posts his poems.

Diary Of A Somebody, about a man convinced that his New Year's resolution, to write a poem every day, will change his life, has been shortlisted for a Costa Book Award.

Bilston "accidentally" notched up a career as a social media poet after crafting a "play on words" on Twitter into the 140-character constraint.

He "never intended" to be a poet, previously telling the BBC: "A poet to my mind was someone of intensity, a serious type, the kind of person you wouldn't want to get trapped in a kitchen with at a party."

Judges said his first novel "gently pokes fun at the everyday, from bin collections to the cut and thrust of the poetry world. Warm, comic and original."

His book is in the running alongside Queenie by bestselling debut author Candice Carty-Williams.