The James White Award is a competition for original short stories of not more than 6,000 words by non-professional writers. The closing date for entries to this year’s competition is midnight (BST) Friday, 28 June, 2019. The winner will be announced in August 2019 (details to be confirmed).

This year’s prize is £200 plus publication in Interzone. The judging panel will be announced shortly.

The rules in brief:
The James White Award is open to previously unpublished stories between 2000 and 6000 words by non-professional authors. Submissions are welcome from authors based anywhere in the world, but the stories must be written in English. Stories are judged anonymously so names should be removed from manuscripts. The James White Award only accepts online submissions via the form on this website. The organisers strongly recommend you read, in full, the rules below before entering.

Who may enter?

  • This aim of the competition is to highlight new writers. It is open to writers of any age and nationality, but it is not open to professional authors.
  • Stories must be in English and must be between 2,000 and 6,000 words in length. The James White Award does not consider flash fiction or novels. Stories outside these words will be disqualified.
  • Each author is allowed to enter one story per year. Authors who attempt to submit more than one story will have all their entries disqualified.
  • Each story must be accompanied by a completed entry form.
  • The competition is free to enter but we encourage authors (and others) to support the competition by making a donation, if they can.
  • For the purposes of this competition a “professional author” is defined as a writer with three short story sales to a professional level market or one professionally published novel. We encourage authors who are unsure about their status to contact the competition before submitting a story. Please use the form on the “Contact Us” page.
  • The date on which this assessment is made is the closing date of the competition – not when the a story is submitted.

Your story

  • Submissions must be original – they should be the sole work of the author/s in whose name they are submitted – and should not have previously appeared in any publication or be under consideration for publication elsewhere  – in any language or format.
  • Stories should be Science Fiction (though we will take a broad definition of what that term means).
  • Stories may not have been entered in The James White Award in any previous year.
  • Stories may not feature characters/locations/ etc. that are part of other copyrighted works – i.e. nothing set in the universes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Dr Who, etc.
  • The James White Award does not accept “flash fiction” – stories must be between 2000 and 6000 words.

Complete the form

  • Entries must be submitted via the online form on the competition’s “How to Enter” page. We do not accept entry via email or by post.

Formatting your manuscript

  • Please format your text as follows: double space the text, leave a sensible margin around the text on all sides (approx. 2.5cm) and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • More advice on sensible manuscript formatting can be found on our writers’ guidelines page.
  • Your name should only appear on the entry form.
  • Do not put your name anywhere on your manuscript.
  • The James White Award is judged anonymously, only the administrator knows the identity of a story’s author.
  • Each page of the story should have a header containing the story title and page number. The author’s name should NOT appear on the page header.
  • Please end your story with ‘The End’.


  • The closing date for submissions is midnight (BST) on Friday, 28 June 2019.
  • The competition administrator reserves the right to disqualify a story should it fail to meet any of the above criteria.  However, the administrator may, at his or her discretion, offer the opportunity for the author to re-submit a story.
  • Shortlisted authors will be informed when the shortlist has been agreed.
  • When the shortlist has been agreed a statement will be made on this website. Stories that have not been successfully shortlisted should then be considered released for submission elsewhere.
  • We aim to make the announcement of this year’s shortlist in August 2019 – but the exact date may vary depending on the number and quality of entries. Entrants should check the “News” page on the website (or follow @JamesWhiteAward on Twitter) for more details.
  • If James White Award is presented at convention, shortlisted entrants will be informed of the award ceremony and may attend, if they wish. Success in the competition is not contingent on being a member of any convention. However, costs associated with convention membership, travel to the ceremony or other costs incurred are the sole responsibility of entrants.
  • The competition administrator reserves the right to refuse to accept or disqualify any submission: in such a case, the administrator will inform the author as soon as possible, giving the reason for refusal or disqualification.
  • The award adminstrator and the judges will not enter into correspondence on stories. They cannot offer critiques of stories or advice on how to get published.
  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • The judges may decide not to award any prize if, in their opinion, there is no entrant of sufficient quality.
  • After the competition has ended, details of the winning entry will be published on the website.
  • Any tax liability resulting from the prize is the sole responsibility of the winner.
  • We regret that manuscripts cannot be returned after the judging. Please keep a copy.

If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please use “Contact Us” page for further information on how to contact the awards administrator.