The Polari Prize 2021
Hear from brilliant new and established LGBTQ+ writers at our glittering event, hosted by Paul Burston, founder of the Polari literary salon.
Now in its 11th year, the Polari Prize is the UK’s only book prize for LGBTQ+ writing.
In 2020, the Polari First Book Prize was won by Amrou Al-Kadhi for their moving memoir Life As A Unicorn and the Polari Prize for a non-debut book was awarded to Kate Davies for her comic novel In At The Deep End.
They are both judges this year, along with authors Angela Chadwick, Rachel Holmes and VG Lee, literary critic Suzi Feay, poet Keith Jarrett, and Chris Gribble, CEO of the National Centre for Writing.
The Polari First Book Prize evolved out of the Polari literary salon and is awarded annually to a debut book which explores the LGBTQ+ experience, whether through prose, poetry, fiction or nonfiction. A second prize was added in 2019, open to a non-debut book.
All genres are eligible, including self-published books, in recognition of the uphill struggle many LGBTQ+ writers still face within the traditional publishing industry. It is open to writers who were born in the UK or Ireland or are based here now.
The night's literary sparkle includes contributions from former Polari Prize winner Andrew McMillan; 2021 shortlisted nominee Steven Appleby; former Polari Prize nominee and academic Beatrice Hitchman; and poet Nikita Gill.
Need to know
For ages 16+
Tonight’s event includes a dedicated bar for The Polar Prize 2021 bookers.
Payment at the bar is by card only.
This event is British Sign Language interpreted (BSL).
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.
Get presale tickets
Members get the first chance to book our entire programme of events, including go-down-in-history gigs, concerts with world-class orchestras, and talks from cultural icons and political giants.
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.
Some free events don't require a ticket. Found an event labelled FREE on our website with no way to book? Simply turn up on the day.
If you don't receive your e-ticket
Check your spam folder for an email from [email protected] If you don’t receive your e-ticket within a few hours of booking, please get in touch.
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.