Aesthetica champions literary talent from around the world through its annual Prize for short fiction and poetry writers. Now going into its 9th year, the Creative Writing Award is an exciting and dynamic addition to the literary world, and attracts thousands of entries from both established and budding writers. This year’s anthology of selected works is now available to order: this is an opportunity to read inspirational works from award winning authors previously published elsewhere as well as from new writers breaking into the industry.
The anthology starts with an introduction to the poetry category, written by poet and professor Oz Hardwick. He has been published extensively worldwide, and has read everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to Chicago. Hardwick’s fifth poetry collection, The Ringmaster’s Apprentice, will be published this year by Valley Press. A keen collaborator with other artists, Hardwick has had work performed by classical musicians in UK concert halls, by flamenco musicians in Italian villas, and with experimental sound and film artists in an Australian cinema. The book then features the winning entry Snow is the Poem Without Flags by Charles Fishman followed by the finalists from this year’s Award.
Themes range from family relationships, love, loss and identity to hard-edged social realities. Corinne Demas’ Thanksgiving, a subtle story of sibling bonds and betrayals, stood out for judges as this year’s winner. Arifa Akbar, literary editor of The Independent and inewspapers, was on the judging panel for the Fiction category, and has judged numerous writing awards including Orwell Prize for books, the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children’s Prize 2014. Akbar gives an introduction to contextualise the outstanding fiction entries for 2014.
Writers include Tom Murray, whose stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies in the USA and Canada, as well as the UK. He was recently Scottish Book Trust Reader In Residence to Scottish Borders Libraries and is currently Creative Writing Fellow to Tyne & Esk Writers. Joyce Sutphen’s poem The Zeitgeist is also featured. Sutphen’s first book, Straight Out of View, won the Barnard New Women’s Poets Prize and Naming the Stars won the Minnesota Book Award. PhD student Jessica Temple from Atlanta, whose piece Bearing is included in the anthology, works for the syndicated poetry college radio show Melodically Challenged and draws on family history for her literary inspiration.
To see the full collection pick up a copy of the Creative Writing Annual, available to pre-order in hard copy or download online. Visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop.
Follow us on Twitter @AestheticaMag for the latest news in contemporary art and culture.
1. Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2015 cover image: Marcus Lyon, EXODUS VI – West Lamma Channel, South China Sea (2011). Courtesy of the artist and Aesthetica.