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Brotherton Prize

The Brotherton Prize presented by the University of Leeds Poetry Centre

Brotherton Library round reading room at the University of Leeds

About the Brotherton Poetry Prize

The Brotherton Poetry Prize celebrates and promotes poetry and supports new poets. The prize is open to anyone in the world over the age of 18 who hasn't yet published a full collection of poems (a chapbook or pamphlet does not count as a full collection). Entries to the competition should include no more than 200 lines of poetry in up to five individual poems.

The winner receives £1,000 and the opportunity to develop their creative practice with the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.

Four runners-up each receive £200.

The poems of the five shortlisted poets are published as an anthology by Carcanet Press. All entrants who provide a UK postal address receive a copy of the anthology on publication. The shortlisted poets might be invited to take part in a series of readings and events held by the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.

All shortlisted poets may receive travel expenses up to £150 to cover expenses associated with the competition announcement. Expenses for UK-based poets associated with events may be reimbursed.

The Brotherton Poetry Prize is generously supported by the Charles Brotherton Trust.

How to enter

The 2021 prize has finished.

Contact us about the poetry prize using:
We cannot enter into correspondence about your poems or the judges' decisions.

2021 Judges

Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Poetry 2015-2017

More on Malika Booker

Emeritus University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection

Lecturer in Creative Writing

More on Kimberly Campanello

Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow

More on Zaffar Kunial

Director of the University of Leeds Poetry Centre

More on John Whale


Read the rules carefully. Failure to comply may result in disqualification.


  1. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over at the time of entering. International entries are welcome.
  2. The closing date of the competition is midnight (UK time), Monday 22 February 2021.
  3. There is no limit on the number of entries a single entrant can make. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judges.
  4. Postal entries will not be accepted.
  5. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  6. Poems cannot be altered once submitted.
  7. Telephone confirmation of receipt is not available. Email confirmation of receipt will be sent after the entry and payment are received.
  8. No correspondence will be entered into.
  9. The University of Leeds Poetry Centre reserves the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified.
  10. The judges’ decision is final.


  1. All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself.
  2. All the poems in each entry must be submitted together in a single word document or pdf file.
  3. Each of the poems must have a title. The entry should not exceed 200 lines in total (excluding titles). Entries can be on any subject.
  4. Poems must be the sole and original work of the entrant.
  5. Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition before October 2021.
  6. Entries must be written in English.


  1. Each entry consisting of up to five poems costs £10.00.
  2. Payments must be made in British pounds sterling via the competition website.


  1. Shortlisted poets will be notified by early April 2021 and invited to an award ceremony in June 2021. Shortlisted poets will be required to provide a biography and photograph. Travel expenses will be reimbursed up to a limit of £150.
  2. The overall winner of the prize will receive £1,000. The four other shortlisted poets will receive £200.
  3. All entrants who provide a valid email address will be notified about the outcome of their entry by late April 2021.
  4. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, shortlisted poets, by entering the competition, grant the University of Leeds a licence to publish and/or broadcast their poem.

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