JAMES WHITE AWARDThe James White Award Short Story Competition was established in 2000. It is open only to non-professional writers and offers them the opportunity to have their work published in Interzone, the UK's leading and longest established science fiction magazine.
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We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 James White Award is:
“Two Worlds Apart” by Dustin Blair Steinacker
The winning story was selected by our judges: Anne Charnock, RJ Barker and Una McCormack.
Dustin wins £200 and “Two Worlds Apart” will be published in a future issue of Interzone.
In a very close decision, the judges also awarded a special commendation to:
“A Sip of Pombé” by Gustavo Bondoni
RJ Barker praised the winning story:
“A short story is a hard thing to write. You have to establish a a realistic and believable character in a very short space of time to carry it (sometimes I struggle to do this with a whole novel at hand). Then of course you have to tell a satisfying, and self-contained, story. An SFF short story is an even harder thing to write because you not only have to do all of the above but you have to establish a world with rules and structure and make the reader buy into it. ‘Two Worlds Apart’ does that brilliantly.
“Life springing up on a planet with no sun that just wanders the galaxy? Is that even possible or likely? Probably not, I reckon, when you start thinking about radiation and meteors and all that science stuff. But did I ever question it in this story? No. Not for a moment. It absolutely sold its premise and ideas and I flew through it with a real sense of wonder at the alien-ness of it all, it felt like something new – and that is a beautiful thing to happen. More than that, the story itself left me with a sense of hope and real feeling that in the end people are worthwhile and I think, in a time when the news cycle is increasingly grim, that’s an important message to be putting across. A worthy winner in among a set of stories that showed some real talent at work and were a pleasure to judge.”
And Anne Charnock added:
“A tightly written story with well-drawn characters, ‘Two Worlds Apart’ poses profound questions about what it is to be a species. Earth hopes to join a Consortium of species and, as a test, a group of human emissaries aided by a Consortium facilitator – an augmented insectoid – is attempting first contact with the Tarshach. The Tarshach face extinction, their energy resources close to depletion. But will they accept help? Why do the Tarshach repeatedly ask “What is expected of us?” A fascinating glimpse into the imagined cultural differences between intelligent species, the inevitability of good intentions lost in translation.”
Una McCormack had this to say about the runner-up, Gustavo Bondoni’s “A Sip of Pombé”:
“Our world at the moment seems to have turned inwards, away from the stars and the promise of the stars, becoming lost in divisions and threat. ‘A Sip of Pombé’, which concerns an illicit Ugandan mission to Mars, shows us how humanity can be audacious and strive towards a better future. It reminds us that if we are to have such a future, it must be found together. A fine story within an excellent set of short stories.”
Award administrator, Martin McGrath thanked those who supported this year’s competition.
“I would like to thank all the readers and the judging panel for their efforts in helping to deliver this year’s award. Thank you, as always, to the British Science Fiction Association and Interzone’s publisher Andy Cox for their continued support of the competition. Commiserations to the other entrants. With over 300 entries those who made it to the long list did well and those that made it to the final shortlist overcame very strong competition. We wish all those authors well with their future writing and hope to see stories from you all again.”
The other shortlisted stories in this year’s competition were:
- “Imago” by Matthew Eeles
- “Ms. Höffern Stays Abreast of the News” by Sarah Pauling
- “My Fault” by Sarah Palmer
- “The Big I Am” by E.M Faulds
The 2019 James White Award will open to entries in October 2019. Check the website or follow us on Twitter (@JamesWhiteAward) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JamesWhiteAward/) to keep up-to-date with competition news.
We are pleased to be able to announce the final shortlist for this year’s James White Award. The six stories, selected from over 300 entrants, are:
A Sip of Pombe
Ms. Höffern Stays Abreast of the News
The Big I Am
Two Worlds Apart
Dustin Blair Steinacker
The winner will be announced on Thursday, 2 August at 17:00 BST.
Competition administrator Martin McGrath said: “As always, we’re are grateful to those who read all the submissions and helped us get to the stage of preparing the shortlist and to the BSFA and Interzone for their support. We’d also like to thank everyone who submitted a story – the competition continues to attract a high degree of interest and that is very gratifying. The process of whittling the entrants down to the final list was not easy and all those who have reached this stage have overcome some very strong opposition. Our judges, RJ Barker, Anne Charnock and Una McCormack will now consider the shortlist and the winner will be announced soon.”
Thank you to all the entrants for their patience waiting for the results of the judging. All submitted stories not on the final shortlist should be considered free to be submitted elsewhere.
The James White Award is pleased to announce the panel of authors who will select the winner of the 2018 James White Award.
Our judges are:
Anne Charnock’s novella, The Enclave, won this year’s British Science Fiction Association Award for best short fiction, her Dreams Before the Start of Time is (our) favourite for the 2018 Arthur C Clarke Award (and was nominated for the BSFA Best Novel) and A Calculated Life was shortlisted for the Kitchies Golden Tentacle and Philip K Dick award. 2015’s Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind may not have been nominated for awards, but it’s a wonderful novel. She is a journalist and former foreign correspondent. She tweets as @annecharnock and you can find out more about her at http://annecharnock.com
The author of the fantastic The Wounded Kingdom trilogy, stories of the assassin Girton Club-Foot, his books have been widely praised and nominated for Kitschies Golden Tentacle, Gemmell and British Fantasy (best novel and best newcomer) awards. Having given up on the life of a rockstar, RJ lives in Leeds and (amongst other things) he reveals his (often disturbing) fascination with antlers in his tweets as @dedbutdrmng – you can read more about him and his work on his website: http://www.rjbarker.com
Probably best known for her novels published in the Star Trek and Dr Who universes, Dr. Una McCormack is a lecturer in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University. Her 2013 Star Trek novel The Fall: The Crimson Shadow was a New York Times bestseller. Recently she has published two exciting space operas set in the Weird Space universe – The Baba Yaga (with Eric Brown) and The Star And The Sea and an excellent novella The Greatest Story Ever Told has just been published by NewCon Press. She has also written numerous audio dramas for Big Finish in the Dr Who and Blake’s 7 universes. Follow her online on Twitter @unamccormack.
The shortlisted stories will be announced soon.
We are pleased to announce the longlisted stories for this year’s James White Award.
The competition received 312 valid entries this year, so the 29 stories that have made it through to the second stage of judging have already overcome significant opposition.
As is the usual practice with the James White Award, our stories are judged anonymously so, at this stage, we are not in a position to attach authors’ names to the stories listed here. The longlisted stories are:
- A Long Way From Home
- A Sip of Pombé
- Amalus and the Automatons
- Androids for the Elderly
- Blood, Bone, Feather
- By the Boiler’s Hand
- Deliver Us
- For the Love of AI
- Ghost in the War Machine
- Halfway Human
- How Grady Lost Andraya
- In Communion with the Invisible Flock
- Ms Hofferen Stays Abreast of the News
- My Fault
- New Instruments
- Sky Burial
- Suburban Twilight
- The Big I AM
- The Gift That Keeps on Taking
- The Human Condition
- The Malfunctioning Heart
- The Snowstorm
- Two Worlds Apart
- Waiting for the Winter
The stories listed here remain under consideration. All other stories should be considered released and free to be submitted elsewhere.
We will announce the judges for the final stage of the competition over the coming weeks and expect to reveal the final shortlist in two or three weeks, with the winner being announced before the end of July.
Please note: we cannot offer feedback on stories that have been submitted and will not enter into discussion about the decision process with entrants.
This year’s James White Award has opened to submissions.
The competition will accept entries until midnight (BST) on Friday 27 April, 2018 and the winner will be announced in July 2018 (date to be confirmed).
The Award Administrator, Martin McGrath, noted that the competition had changed its schedule this year: “In the past we have sought to announce our winning story earlier in the year, traditionally at Eastercon, but have struggled to keep to that timetable. We hope that by moving the judging period into the summer that it will help us stay on schedule and to make the competition more reliable and predictable for those who enter.”
This year’s panel of judges will be announced in January.
This year’s prize is £200 and the winning story will be published in Interzone.
The James White Award Short Story Competition was founded in 2000 to commemorate the work of Irish science fiction author, James White. It is supported by the BSFA and TTA Press, publisher’s of Interzone, the UK’s longest-running science fiction magazine.
We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 James White Award is:
by Stewart Horn
Commenting on the winning story on behalf of the judging panel, David Gullen said:
“The Morrigan works very well, a very tight piece of writing, confident and accomplished. It breaks the rule on colloquial speech and not only makes it work but is stronger for it. An original take on a very old tale with good pace, and sense of time and place.”
Stewart’s story wins £200 and will be published in a future issue of Interzone.
This year the judges also chose to give a special commendation to:
“May the Pain Guide You Home”
by Daniel Roy
Award Adminstrator Martin McGrath said:
“Daniel’s story scored highly with all the judges, it packs a powerful emotional punch in a well-written and tightly told story.”
The winning story was chosen from an entry of almost 200 entrants this year.
Commiserations to the authors of the other shortlisted stories:
- “Don” by Steve Dubois
- “Skin and Bone” by Beth Plutchak
- “The Cut” by Elsie WK Donald
- “The Dying Glass” by Cameron Johnston
although they didn’t win this time they made the judging process difficult and it was a significant achievement to reach this stage in the competition.
Thank you to this year’s judges: Lorna Gibbs, David Gullen and Konrad Walewski for their time and the care they gave to the judging. Thanks, too, to the team behind the scenes that make the award possible and to all those who have supported the Award.
The James White Award also thanks TTA Press and editor their Andy Cox and the British Science Fiction Association for their continued support.
We have had some difficulties with the organisation of this year’s award that have caused significant delays in making announcement and so we thank everyone who entered for their patience. We’ll be announcing some changes to the competition next year in the hope of avoiding a repeat. These will be announced on the website soon.
The James White Award will reopen to entries in September 2017.
The winner of the James White Award 2017 will be announced here at 9:00pm (BST) on Monday 26 June.
We are pleased to be able to announce the shortlist for this year’s competition.
The stories that have made it through to the final selection are:
Don – Steve Dubois
May the Pain Guide You Home – Daniel Roy
The Morrigan – Stewart Horn
Skin and Bone – Beth Plutchak
The Cut – Elsie WK Donald
The Dying Glass – Cameron Johnston
The winner will be announced next week.
Apologies to all this year’s competition entrants for the delays in getting to this stage. Stories not listed here should be considered released for consideration in other markets.
This year’s judging panel are:
Lorna is a novelist, short story and non fiction writer. She has published two biographies, Lady Hester (Faber 2005), the Sperber shortlisted West’s World (Pan Mac 2012) and the critically acclaimed novel A Ghost’s Story (Granta 2015), as well as short fiction for literary magazines and Radio broadcast and the award winning memoir, ‘The Two Gardens’. She is currently writing a book on Childlessness, commissioned by Granta. Lorna lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three rescue cats, is represented by Peter Straus at RCW Lit Agency and lectures part time in creative writing at Middlesex University.
David is a white African writer whose short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. His work has won the British Fantasy Society short story competition and his collection, Open Waters, is published by Exaggerated Press. In 2016 he was also a judge for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. His SF novel, Shopocalypse, is due to be re-issued by NewCon Press this summer. David lives in South London with the fantasy writer Gaie Sebold behind a small forest of tree ferns.
Editor, writer, anthologist, literary critic and translator, Konrad is a prominent figure in the Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy scene. Hie is co-founder of, and editor for, the Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy in Poland. He has translated works such as Synners by Pat Cadigan and Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link and his anthologies include three volumes of Kroki w nieznane (Steps into the Unknown) and Wielkie dzieło czasu (Great Work of Time). He currently lives in London.
The James White Award is pleased to be able to announce the longlisted stories for this year’s award. These are:
- The Astronaut Tier
- Corinna, Fractured
- Dagher’s Children
- May the Pain Guide You Home
- Shepherd Boy Balances the Hundred Souls
- Sim World Scripting Derby
- Skin and Bone
- The Cut
- The Devil’s Breath
- The Dying Glass
- The Origin of Serendipity
Authors of other submissions can consider their stories released.
We hope to announce the shortlist within two weeks and the winner shortly afterwards.
Note that, at this stage, the stories are still being judged using our anonymous system, hence no authors’ names can be included at this time.
The award administrator, Martin McGrath, apologised to the delays in this year’s competition: “We know it is frustrating for authors who are waiting for a response and we’re taking steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in future. We will be announcing changes to the competition’s timing for future competitions before opening for next year’s submissions. Thank you for sticking with us.”