Have a go at producing a poem, drawing, painting, song or any other Koestler artform using the word ‘journey’ as a theme. This year’s theme was chosen by Koestler Facebook and Twitter followers.
From as little as £5 a month for a Commended Award, to our top Scholarship Award which offers talented offender artists 10 mentoring sessions with a professional artist, naming an Award can be one of the most direct and satisfying ways to get involved with the Koestler Trust.
More about naming an award
Last year we received a record-breaking number of entries to the Koestler Awards – 8,789 pieces of writing, music, film, fine art and design. Award-winners are listed here, anonymously, by establishment (pdf).
The Koestler Trust has been running the awards programme for offenders, secure patients and detainees for over 50 years.
The aims of the awards include:
Some work is selected to be shown in displays in a wide range of public spaces including offices, restaurants and prison visit halls.
The Awards offer a great chance for entrants to get their creative work seen or heard, get feedback, sell work, and to share in over £30,000 of prizes.
For more information please view the awards guidance
Every entrant receives a participation certificate and recognition for their work. We give over 1,500 awards a year, total prize money worth over £30,000, with most winners receiving a cash prize.
Find out more about the prizes
Entries are judged by over 150 experts from different fields. 2014 judges included Turner Prize-winning artists Grayson Perry and Jeremy Deller; the National Theatre; the Victoria & Albert Museum; artist Sarah Lucas; celebrity hair stylist Louise Galvin; rapper Speech Debelle; artist and activist Htein Lin; and the band Hot Chip.
We have selected some images that we hope will be an inspiration and a celebration of some of the talented artists who have have submitted their work for a Koestler Award in the past.
View the selection
Major exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London
We show a selection of the entries to the public at our annual UK exhibition, which attracts around 20,000 visitors. This takes place in autumn 2014 at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre - one of the most famous arts venues in the world. As well as work exhibited on the gallery walls, the UK exhibition will include readings, performances, film screenings and a special event for entrants' families.
More on the Exhibitions
As well as the UK exhibition at Southbank Centre the Trust holds shows of local artwork in different areas each year. This gives work in those areas an extra chance to be seen, win awards and sell. In the 2015 Awards year we plan to hold exhibitions in Scotland (with Tramway in Glasgow) and the North East (with BALTIC and Gateshead Library).