Segora vignette competition 2019 results

First prize £100 or equivalent in Euro.

The results - Segora vignette competition 2019

The winner of the 2019 vignette competition chosen by Roisin McAuley


The Dragon on My Windowsill  Sally Pearson

After early years living in India and Africa, Sally Pearson taught Modern Educational Dance (Laban), Drama and English as a Foreign Language, before moving from Durham to France twelve years ago with her husband David. Both Sally and David write, inspired and encouraged by regular contact with poets and authors — in France, the UK and the Far East.
Participating in Literary Festivals, such as Big Lit (Scotland) and local bi-lingual Literary Festivals, as well as entering writing competitions, have provided impetus and creative spurs for Sally’s work. Her vignettes and short-stories have won or been commended in Writing Magazine, the Yeovil Literary Prize, and Segora International (2015/2017). Her ambition? Keep on writing.
Announcements, during the recent heatwave, that humanity could end in 2050 if global warming continues at the current rate gave her particular pause for thought. ‘The Dragon on My Windowsill’ is the result.
Segora vignette adjudication by Roisin McAuley

It was hard to pick a long-list – never mind a short-list and a winner.

I was looking for a vivid scene conjuring mood, atmosphere, and character – a vignette that lingered in my mind.

I was thinking of Ernest Hemingway's vignettes from "In Our Time".

Several of the entrants channelled Hemingway's classic vignette about a dying bullfighter. In one entry, Hemingway was himself the subject.  

None had Hemingway's economy with words. Qualifiers and intensifiers weaken sentences. Less is more.

The long-list runners-up used adjective and adverbs a little too freely, but created memorable scenes.

From the short list of three:

First prize goes to "The Dragon on My Windowsill". Sustained metaphor created a vivid picture. I liked the meditative air. Both image and mood stayed with me.

The second prize goes to "Last Best Hope in a Shade of Orange", which played with officialese and text/email office-speak.  (Even in text-speak, words could have been cut.) It was a clever, memorable entry. The ending made me smile.

The third vignette to make the short list, "Puny-Joon, conveyed the creepy atmosphere of a totalitarian state and a brain-washed citizen.

Congratulations to the winner.

Well done, all. Keep writing!


Shortlisted vignettes

Author Title
Taria Karillion Last, Best Hope in a Shade of Orange   
Sally Pearson Puny-Joon 
  The Dragon on My Windowsill  

Judge: Roisin McAuley

I served my long apprentice in narrative as a reporter in newspapers (The Irish Times, The Examiner, The Times), radio and television (File on 4, Newsnight, Panorama, The World this Week). I learned to compose stories quickly in a telephone box, uncomfortably close to a riot, coins at the ready, dialling, dictating my copy from scribbled notes. I learned how to signpost a story on film and on radio. The latter being the best apprenticeship of all. Radio listeners are rarely seated, except in their cars. You have to make them listen. Paint pictures for their imagination. Choose the right number of voices, the most compelling bits of interviews. You want the listener to become absorbed, to stop ironing or loading the dishwasher, to sit a bit longer in the car outside. That's what I want to do with my novels, keep the reader turning the pages, wanting to know what happens next.

Now I live in Belfast and present a radio programme on religion and ethics ( My five novels are published in all English speaking countries as well as in Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Brazil. I'm currently writing my second crime novel. You'll find my tips about writing on my website

The vignette appeals to me because it is concentrated and needs a sharp focus to tell a story or paint a memorable word picture from an unusual angle.