The James White Award Short Story Competition was established in 2000 to commemorate the life and work of one of Ireland’s most important and best-loved science fiction authors. James White was born in Northern Ireland and as well as publishing a large number of novels and short stories – including his most famous creation, The Sector General stories – he was also an active fan writer and popular attendee at conferences.  You can find out more about James White at the website, which is dedicated to his work.

From the beginning the award has been sponsored by Interzone, the UK’s leading science fiction magazine and the winning stories have been published by that magazine’s editors, first David Pringle and now Andy Cox.

The award was originally administered by James Bacon with support from a number of fans but it is now supported by funding from the British Science Fiction Association and administered by Martin McGrath.



The winner of the 2018 James White Award was: “Two Worlds Apart” by Dustin Blair Steinacker

The winning story was selected by our judges: Anne Charnock, RJ Barker and Una McCormack.

In a very close decision, the judges also awarded a special commendation to: “A Sip of Pombé” by Gustavo Bondoni

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 winner of the 2017 James White Award was: “The Morrigan” by Stewart Horn

Stewart’s story appeared in Interzone 273 and has been translated into Italian for the anthology Davanti Allo Specchio with short story competition winners from around Europe by Trofeo RiLL.

This year the judges also chose to give a special commendation to: “May the Pain Guide You Home” by Daniel Roy

The winning story was chosen from an entry of almost 200 entrants this year.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • “Don” by Steve Dubois
  • “Skin and Bone” by Beth Plutchak
  • “The Cut” by Elsie WK Donald
  • “The Dying Glass” by Cameron Johnston

Thank you to this year’s judges: Lorna Gibbs, David Gullen and Konrad Walewski for their time and the care they gave to the stories under consideration.


Winner: “Rock, Paper, Incisors” by David Cleden 

The 2016 James White Award was presented at the 2016 Eastercon (Mancunicon) in Manchester. The judging panel consisted of the authors Neil Williamson, RJ Booth and Ian Sales – we thank them and the BSFA and TTA Press, publishers of Interzone, for their continued support. David won £200 and his story was published in Interzone 267.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Trina Marie Phillips – “Deadly Dance”
  • Jason Kimble – “If Only Kissing Made It So”
  • Morgan Parks – “Let the Bells Ring Out”
  • Matt Dove – “(Perhaps The Answer Is) That We Question At All”
  • Jon Lasser – “Wreckwalkers”


Winner: “Midnight Funk Association” by Mack Leonard 

The 2015 James White Award was presented at Dysprosium (the 2015 Eastercon) in London). The judging panel consisted of the authors Dave Hutchinson, Stephanie Saulter and Gareth L Powell. The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Patrick Martin – Ideas Machine, Suffolk Street
  • Jedd Cole – Relics of the All-Legend
  • Jessica Lilien – The Simple 12-Step Solution to the 3×3 Hypercube in Minkowski Spacetime
  • Winnie M Li – White Fur


Winner: “Beside The Dammed River” by DJ Cockburn

The winning story received £200 and publication in a future issue of , Interzone.

The judges awarded a special commendation to Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s “Flesh and Bone”.

The James White Award would like to thank our judges: Sophia McDougall, Emma Newman and Adam Roberts and thank the BSFA and Interzone for their continuing support, without whom the competition would not be possible.

The 2014 James White Award received over 300 entries from all over the world. This is a record number for the award and the competition was fierce.

The full shortlist was:

  • “Appiness” by Katie Lee
  • “Beside the Dammed River” by DJ Cockburn
  • “Flesh and Bone” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  • “Grumpy Old Man” by Cindy George
  • “The Demands of Iron” by Benjamin C. Kinney


The James White Award changed the way we dated the competition this year to reflect the year in which the prize was awarded rather than the year in which entries opened – there was no break in the award. The winner of this year’s competition was:

Winner: “You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete” by Shannon Fay

Shannon, from Canada, won £300 and her story was published in Interzone #246.

Aliette de Bodard, announced the winner at EightSquaredCon (the 2013 Eastercon) described the story as having:

A wonderful, strong voice and a delightful set-up. It’s hard to do original stories involving bargains with the Devil, but I thought this one managed to offer a fresh take and an poignant and effective ending.

This year the James White Award was also able to offer a runner-up prize, of £100, to the second placed story.

“Automatic Diamanté”
by Philip Suggars

Philip is from Brighton, and Andy Hedgecock and Andy Cox, the editors of Interzone, praised his story.

Our initial response to Automatic Diamanté was that it is smart, dark and engaging.  Our next reaction was that it’s the work of a talented writer who we would hope and expect to hear from in the future.  It tackles big ideas of self, identity and consciousness: these are ambitious themes for a short story, and they carry a risk that narrative can collapse under the weight of philosophical speculation and be reduced to the status of ‘thought experiment’.  But this is an adroit piece of writing that avoids this pitfall through its wit, its emotional resonance and the controlled energy of its language.

“Automatic Diamanté” was also published in Interzone #247.

The full shortlist for this year’s competition was:

  •  Academic by Jonathan Bloxsom
  • All the Distances by Dan Campbell
  • Automatic Diamanté by Philip Suggars
  • Every Useless Parameter by Darren Goossens
  • You First Meet the Devil At A Church Fete by Shannon Fay
  • The Well-Deceived by JS Richardson


Winner: “Invocation of the Lurker” by Colum Paget

The award was presented at the BSFA Awards Ceremony during Eastercon 2012.

Colum’s story won in a year in which the James White Award attracted a record number of entries and against a very strong shortlist. Colum won a £200 cash prize – which he generously chose to donate back to the award – and his story will be published in a future issue of Interzone. This year’s panel of judges, the authors Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Juliet E McKenna and Interzone editors Andy Cox and Andrew Hedgecock, also took the decision to award a special commendation to a second story:

“Train in Vain” by Tori Truslow

A special commendation has been awarded only once before in the history of the James White Award, in 2001 – the year of the award’s inception, and this reflects the high standard of the stories on the shortlist this year.

The other shortlisted stories were:

Gaea Denker-Lehrman – “Solvers”
Darren Goossens – “Circle
David McGroarty – “A Traveller from an Antique Land”
Sarah Stanton – “Chrysanthemum”


Winner: Flock, Shoal, Herd by James Bloomer

The award was presented at the BSFA AGM in June 2010 and the judges included novelist Ian Whates and Interzone editor Andy Cox. James Bloomer’s winning story was printed in Interzone 232.

On winning, James (a particle physicist) said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to have won The James White Award. It’s a delightful feeling to know that someone likes my story, providing a great shot of encouragement, just like The James White Award has always offered to new writers.”

The shortlisted stories were:

  • His Final Experiment by David L Clements
  • Are Friends Electric by Dan Purdue
  • In Memories Not Yet Made by David John Baker


No competition.


The judges made the decision not to make an award.


Winner: The Faces of My Friends by Jennifer Harwood-Smith

The Award was presented at Octocon, the National Science Fiction Convention in Ireland on Saturday the 14th of October, 2006.  The final judging was conducted by a panel drawn from the science fiction field in Europe: Kelly Link, Alastair Reynolds, Andy Cox and Michael Carroll.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Happiness Worms On Xam??? By Simon Cooper
  • Hitchhikers by Alan Heal
  • Matthews Conundrum of Inanimacy by Gary Spencer
  • Version2 by Derek Willmer


Winner: A Short History of the Dream Library by Elizebeth Hopkinson

The Award was presented at Interaction, The World Science Fiction Conventon 2005, during the Hugo ceremony in the Scotish Exhibition Centre  on Sunday the 7th of August 2005. The final judging was conducted by a panel made up of: Andy Cox, Jasper Fforde, Michael Carroll, Teresa Nielsen Hayden and the late Robert Sheckley.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Everything is Easy Now by Dave Gullen
  • Harmemoric Asylum by Eve Power
  • Heartbroken Things by Gary Spencer
  • Following the Khiserians by Graham Bensley


Winner: Lost Things Saved in Boxes by Deirdre Ruane

The Award was presented at a ceremony at Winter Gradens, in Blackpool, on Sunday the 11th of April 2004. This was the venue for the National British Convention, Concourse, known as Eastercon. The final judging was conducted by a panel drawn from the science fiction field in the USA and Europe: Lois McMaster Bujold, Michael Carroll, Peter F. Hamilton, Christopher Priest and David Pringle.


Winner: Vita Brevis Ars Longa by Julian West

The Award was presented at a ceremony at the Quality Inn, Walsall immediately following the Novacon 32 Science Fiction Convention. The final judging was conducted by a panel drawn from the science fiction field in the USA and Europe: Michael Carroll, David Pringle, Orson Scott Card, Christopher Fowler and Graham Joyce.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • To Protect and to Swerve by Jon Matthais
  • The Unimortal by Seamus Sweeney
  • A Metamorphosis by Damian Cox
  • Outside the Encryption Zone by Jason Woodward


Winner: Nucleon by David D. Levine.

The Award ceremony took place in Queens University Belfast. The judging panel was made up of Ian McDonald, Mike Resnick, Kim Newman, David Pringle and Michael Carroll.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Extemophenia by Janet Barron
  • Fear of the alien by Lannah Battley
  • The Last Whippoorwill by Ciaran Conliffe
  • Rainmaker on the run by Jetse de Vries


Winner: Think Tank by Mark Dunn.

The judging panel was made up of Morgan Llywelyn, Dave Langford, Michael Scott, David Pringle and Michael Carroll. The award ceremony took place at the Dublin Writers’ Museum.

The other shortlisted stories were:

  • Word – Perfect by Mrs Isobel Hanson
  • The Resurgance of Gloves by Yvonne Coats
  • Zenith by Derek Paterson
  • The Night Before Opening by Michael Green (special commendation)

We received nearly one hundred entries and there was much dificulty in deciding the winner out of the final five as the calibre of writing was quite strong.