Essential: Creative Future Writers' Award 2021
Dorothy Koomson, the best-selling novelist, hosts this year’s prize for under-represented writers, along with award-winning poet Joelle Taylor.
Founded in 2013, the Creative Future Writers’ Award is a development programme for talented writers from a wealth of backgrounds.
It includes the UK’s only national writing competition for all under-represented writers, alongside a series of workshops in hubs throughout the UK.
This year writers were given the theme of ‘essential’, with submissions invited in two categories: fiction and poetry.
With the support of leading literary partners, winners are selected by a panel of industry experts and given the opportunity to develop their work through training, mentoring, assessment and coaching.
At this event you can hear shortlisted writers read from their work as well as the live announcement of the winners. All winning entries are also published in the Essential anthology, alongside work by Koomson, Taylor and poet Sarala Estruch.
Presented in partnership with Creative Future
Need to know
For ages 16+
Dates & times
- Standard entry£5*
* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.
** Limited availability. Read about concessions.
Tickets can only be sold through the Southbank Centre and our authorised agents, and can't be resold. You can return your tickets to the Southbank Centre for a credit voucher up to 48 hours before the event. Tickets resold on any third-party platforms will become invalid.
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Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is open to all for access to the Level 2 foyers and toilets, Level 1 and Changing Places toilets, the National Poetry Library, Skylon, Riverside Terrace Cafe, Southbank Centre Shop and Members' Lounge at the following times:
Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 6pm**
Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 11pm
**On event days, the Royal Festival Hall building remains open until the end of the event.
Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. The nearest tube and train stations within 5 – 7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines). There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2– 5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river, see below.
Pre-booking online is recommended. Check our website on the day for returns. There’s no need to print your e-ticket – just show your phone to our Visitor Assistants on entry.
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If you don't receive your e-ticket
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Returns and exchanges
Tickets can be returned for a credit voucher or exchanged for another performance if they are received by the Ticket Office at least 48 hours before the performance.
Please, stay at home if you have symptoms of illness such as a cough, sore throat or fever or have tested positive for coronavirus. In this instance, get in touch with the Ticket Office at least 24 hours ahead of the performance for information on returns.
Southbank Centre credit vouchers can be exchanged for tickets to events and exhibitions, as well as related items such as books, programmes and catalogues sold through our website. They can also be used for Southbank Centre Memberships.
Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall.
Situated on Level 1, our cloakroom is accessed via steps or platform lift from the Southbank Centre Square doors. It opens around 60 minutes before the start of any Royal Festival Hall show, and closes around 15 minutes after the performance ends.
The charge is £1 per item, which must be collected on the same day they are stored. Items left here are at the owner’s risk and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage, from any cause, to items left in the cloakroom.
Please note that we're unable to accept cash payments across our site.
Entering the hall
There may be short queues to enter the building and the auditorium. If you are not able to queue or need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you.
For level access to the Royal Festival Hall, please use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road, to Level 2, and enter via Riverside Terrace. All floors are accessible from the main foyer.
We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.
Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).
There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.
Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
Please note: on Sunday when the National Theatre building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park.
Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
Our Access Scheme
If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.