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:
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