Hélène James


After five great years we have decided to stop running the Ifanca Helene James Short Story Competition, due to changes in the circumstances of key members of the founding group. Thank you to all of you who participated in and supported the competition. You can read the winning stories from 2011-2015 on this website.

The Ifanca Helene James Short Story Competition was established in 2011 to celebrate the life of Hélène James. Over five years the competition received more than 360 riveting story entries. Prize winners have come from Wales, Greece, England, Scotland and Ireland. You can read the prize-winning stories from the 2015 Competition on the links below and the winners from the 2014 Competition and the 2011 – 2013 Competitions on this site. Also see the update on previous competition winners to see what they have written and published recently.

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Ifanca Helene James Short Story Competition are:

1st prize SHARP AS SHERBERT LEMONS by Melanie Whipman

2nd prize THE CHILD by Ann Clifford

3rd prize THE SUMMER OF THE WHALE by Andrea Wotherspoon

Sixty stories of a high calibre were entered for the competition this year presenting the judges with some fascinating reading and difficult deliberations. Guest judge, Jeni Williams, commented that the twists and wonderfully sustained metaphors of the winning story, ‘Sharp as Sherbert Lemons’, were terrific. The judges would also like to mention the following shortlisted stories as highly commended:

‘The Taxidermist’ by Lucy Donald

‘Homecoming’ by Gemma Bowker

‘Parallel Track’ by Tim Robson

‘Woody’ by Richard Buxton

‘Junkle’ by Mark Gillespie

‘Paula in Pictures’ by Bruce Harris

‘Boy with Gypsy Earring’ by Bruce Harris

‘Reverse Arms’ by Sue Dickson


The competition judges were Jeni WilliamsRobin Bloor, Amanda Miles and Tracey Warr.