Writer and memoirist Monique Roffey was awarded £ 30,000 for her sixth novel. The mermaid of Black Conch.
The book, which is based on a Taino legend, follows the dark love story between a fisherman and a mermaid from the sea.
The judges called it a “classic in the making” and welcomed Roffey as “a writer at the peak of her powers”.
Roffey beat the bookmaker’s favorite – Lee Lawrence for his memoir The louder I sing: A story of racism, unrest and redemption.
Said she was “delighted” and “proud” to win, the author added, “This prestigious award is a vote for so many things: Caribbean literature, experimental form, magical realism, independent presses, and of course, mermaids.
“A big thank you to the judges who made my book accessible to a wide readership. I’m going to pinch myself in the coming weeks. “
The screenwriter and director Tessa Sheridan won the Costa Short Story Award 2020, which was decided by a public vote. She received £ 3,500 for her story The person who serves serves again.
The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony hosted by Penny Smith.