Segora Short Story competition 2016 winners

First prize - Emma Curtis, The Cetacean Mammal

Brought up in London, Emma studied French Literature and Language at Southampton University and has worked in various jobs, including twelve years as a school secretary, before becoming a full-time writer. Her novel, One Little Mistake is published as an ebook on February 23rd and as a paperback on June 29th. Emma also writes short stories and has won The Writers' Village and Segora competitions and has been shortlisted twice for Fish Publishing and The New Writer. She lives in Richmond with her husband.

Download The Cetacean Mammal


Judge's comments:

The winning story in the competition is the story of a man whose brain is transplanted into the body of a dolphin. THE CETACEAN MAMMAL is a fantastic and imaginatively told love story. It held my attention from start to finish. The story, and the emotional intensity of the extraordinary events within it, stayed with me long after I had finished reading – always a good sign of a strong narrative.

Second prize - Anne Woodford, Flight Path

Anne Woodford worked in the book trade and tourism, including literary tours, before studying for diplomas in Creative Writing and Writing for Therapeutic Purposes at Bristol University. As a member of Lapidus, she led therapeutic groups at her GP’s surgery, took poetry into Residential Homes and ran two local writing groups. Before moving to France in 2008, inspiration and generous support for her own writing came from regular meetings with Lindsay Clarke and his Somerset group. Encouraged by awards from the Wells Literary Festival and more recently from Segora, she hopes to continue working with her writing groups in Maine et Loire and to finally complete her novel. She is hugely grateful to Gordon and Jocelyn for the stimulation and enjoyment provided by the St Clementin Literary Festivals This year they introduced, among many talented writers, the novelist Patricia Duncker, whose memorable advice Anne tries to follow: ‘Write and Enjoy!’

Download Flight Path


Judge's comments:

Second place goes to FLIGHT PATH. This is a poignant and heartfelt story written in elegant prose. It is a gentle and perceptive look at relationships and life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and loved the perfectly pitched ending.


Third prize - Harriet Springbett, Quark Soup

Harriet Springbett lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and teenage daughters. The inspiration for Quark Soup came from a visit to a Parisian science museum, where she read that 'the universe is composed of a soup of quarks and gluons etc.'. She gave up trying to understand quantum physics and scribbled notes for the story instead. Harriet's first novel, Tree Magic, will be published by Impress Books in January 2017. She blogs on writing and French cultural events at

Download Quark Soup


Judge's comments:

Third place goes to QUARK SOUP. This is a lyrical and emotional look at the life of a couple dealing with illness and changes in their lives. The writing is rich and detailed, and satisfyingly full of emotional depth and wisdom.

Judge - Amanda Hodgkinson


It is always a pleasure to read short stories. When they are well told, they carry our minds and hearts into other worlds and return us back to our own, with new ways of seeing and thinking. Small and concentrated, they are a literary treat to devour at any time of day or night. As Neil Gaiman said, good short stories “are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”
The short stories I read for this competition were varied and fascinating to read. As you can imagine, choosing a winner was not an easy task. I was looking for a sense of wholeness in the writing. A short story, because of its shortness, must create a mood and see it through to the end. And for me, a short story must always earn its ending. That’s to say, every single word I read, from the very first to the very last, must work to carry the reader through the actions and emotions of the story to its conclusion. A short story can be about anything as long as it convinces the reader. These are the stories I chose. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Well done to the winners and to all those who entered their stories for the Segora Prize 2016.

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