The winners of the renowned Aesthetica Creative Writing Award have been announced for this year, celebrating excellence in contemporary writing across poetry and short fiction. The prize, now in its 14th year, is a hotbed for new literary talent. It presents both emerging and established writers with the opportunity to showcase new work, propelling their careers through publication and talent development. This year, Aesthetica welcomed thousands of entries from over 40 countries.
The Poetry Award was presented to Audrey Molloy, for her entry On Reaching 45 the Poet Realises She Is Only 23. Based in Sydney, Australia, Molloy has been widely published, most recently with The Moth, The Irish Times and Mslexia. Earlier this year she received the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry. Sean Gregory won the Short Fiction Award for Louish & Benim. Based in West Yorkshire, Sean was longlisted for the Bridport First Novel Prize 2019 and his debut novel will be published by Bluemoose Books in 2021. Louish & Benim is a sensuous story about love, war, loss and betrayal, and about the power of language itself.
As well as being published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, both winners received £1,000 prize money, alongside literary consultations with Redhammer Management, memberships to The Poetry Society, subscriptions courtesy of Granta, and book selections from both VINTAGE and Bloodaxe Books.
The Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology also includes shortlisted works from over 50 writers, offering meaningful perspectives on the world around us. The featured poems and short stories express emotions of desire, grief, conflict and resolution, as well as concepts of transformation, perception and change. This year’s shortlisted writers include recent winner of the Ruskin Prize and third in the National Poetry Competition Mark Fiddes; Claire Potter, author of three poetry collections (Swallow, In Front of a Comma, N’ombre) and shortlisted writer for the Keats-Shelley Poetry Award 2017; and poet and visual artist Ella Frears, whose work has been published in Poetry London, LRB and The Moth. Frears has also completed residencies with the National Trust and Tate Britain.
Aesthetica’s Creative Writing Anthology is available here.
Submissions for the 2020 Award are now open here.
Fazlulloh Shamit Musavi’s The Edge of Emotions, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.