Costa book prize: lecturer Nathan Filer wins

A former psychiatric nurse who is now a lecturer in creative writing has been awarded the Costa Book of the Year award for his debut novel.

January 29, 2014

Nathan Filer, 32, who studied for an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University before becoming a lecturer at the institution, has had poetry broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and written and appeared in a short comedy film, Oedipus.

But it was The Shock of the Fall, his novel about a Bristol boy who slips into schizophrenia after the death of his brother and eventually finds himself in a psychiatric ward, which attracted a huge bidding war and was published by Harper Collins to huge acclaim in 2013.

It went on to win the first novel category in the Costa Book Awards earlier this month, making it automatically eligible for the main prize, which is selected from the winners of each category.

On 28 January Mr Filer secured the £30,000 prize, ahead of best-selling novelist Kate Atkinson (for her eighth novel, Life After Life), biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett (for The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio: Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War) and two others.

Mr Filer’s success also marks a hat-trick for Bath Spa. The 2011 Costa Book of the Year award was won by former lecturer in creative writing, Andrew Miller, for his novel Pure, while the 2012 award (as well as the Man Booker Prize) was won by honorary graduate Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies.

This year’s Costa awards attracted a record 617 entries.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns