I learned over the weekend that a member of my writing group, Hopefull Monsters, has won the 2014 James White Award. D.J. Cockburn is the second person I know to win this award, given annually to a non-professional speculative fiction writer (a couple of years ago, fellow Hopefull Monster Colum Paget won). Winning the James White Award is probably only second in prestige to the Writers of the Future Gold Award for non-professional writers. So, yeah, it’s a big one.
D.J. is a fantastic writer, and I’ve read his award-winning story, “Beside the Damned River.” It’s an exceptional piece, and will be published in a future issue of Interzone as part of the prize. Unfortunately for every winner there are many who don’t win, but the award committee also recognized Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s story, “Flesh and Bone,” with a special commendation (a win of sorts?). I hope to read her story once it finds a nice home.
Congratulations to D.J. He’s overcome a lot this past year, and is an inspiration. I couldn’t think of a better person to win this year. But next year is a new year, so if you’re eligible, get your story in on time (what do you have to lose). And you better hope that another Hopefull Monster hasn’t entered . . . there’s still a few of us around here who haven’t won it yet . . . .