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Friday, November 6, 1998 Published at 21:07 GMT


And the nominations are ...

Birthday Letters: Chronicled Hughes's stormy relationship with Sylvia Plath

One of the runners-up for this year's Booker Prize as well as Ted Hughes's last book of poetry are among those shortlisted for the Whitbread Book Awards which were announced on Friday

Now in the their 28th year, the awards were set up to encourage and promote the best of modern British writing.

The four preliminary categories and £21,000 showpiece Book of the Year are regarded among the leading accolades for both established and fledgling talent.

Prizes are awarded in five categories with the winners of the novel, first novel, poetry and biography sections to be announced on 13 January and collecting £2,000 each.

The Book of the Year will be chosen from among these four categories on 26 January, and the separate Whitbread Children's Award of £10,000 will be made on the same night.

Recent Whitbread Books of the Year include Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Seamus Heaney's The Spirit Level and - the winner last year - Ted Hughes' Tales from Ovid.

The nominations for 1998 are:

    Novel Award
  • The Catastrophist by Ronan Bennett, published by Headline Review
  • Leading The Cheers by Justin Cartwright, pub Sceptre
  • The Travelling Hornplayer by Barbara Trapido, pub Hamish Hamilton

    First Novel Award
  • The Last King Of Scotland by Giles Foden, pub Faber & Faber
  • Shopping by Gavin Kramer, pub Fourth Estate
  • The Restraint Of Beasts by Magnus Mills, pub Flamingo
  • Jellyroll by Luke Sutherland, pub Anchor

    Poetry Award
  • The Boy From The Chemist Is Here To See You by Paul Farley, pub Picador
  • The Wasting Game by Philip Gross, pub Bloodaxe
  • Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, pub Faber & Faber

    Biography Award
  • Iris - A Memoir Of Iris Murdoch by John Bailey, pub Duckworth
  • Georgiana, Duchess Of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman, pub Harper Collins
  • Hitler, 1889 - 1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw, pub Penguin Press

    Children's Book Award
  • Skellig by David Almond, pub Signature
  • Sweet Clarinet by James Riordan, pub OUP
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of
  • Secrets by J K Rowling, pub Bloomsbury
  • Abomination by Robert Swindells, pub Doubleday

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