The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award champions exceptional literary talent from across the globe. The short fiction and poetry included in this anthology takes the temperature of society as we know it today and demonstrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit. These insightful works, comprising 60 winning and shortlisted pieces, encourage readers to take a moment to imagine the lives of others. These compelling vignettes are a call to action, as everyday experiences are reimagined through stories that resonate on many levels – from the personal to the universal. We are constantly reminded of what it means to be alive and the complexity of the human story. In this compendium, we are encouraged to enter new worlds and open up our imaginations. We are reminded that this is our time, together, right now on planet Earth.