Koestler Awards 2014

An Award-winning entrant writes:

“ I am now very keen to take my artwork to the next level which I would never have done if I hadn't won an award”


Escape with a Book | HMP Exeter, Highly Commended Award, Sculpture Doggie Diaries | HMP Styal, Mixed Media Bird Box | Blantyre House, Gold Award, SculptureFlowers for Leanne | HMP Edinburgh, Commended Award, Craft

1 Themed category: COMFORT

Have a go at producing a poem, drawing, painting, song or any other Koestler artform using the word ‘Comfort’ as a theme. This year’s theme was chosen by Koestler Facebook and Twitter followers. Non-visual entries submitted into this category will not be returned to you and will be disposed of securely following the Awards.

2 Arts Project

A project with components that cover several Koestler Award artforms, created to engage people as artists, participants and audience. Your entry should include:

  • the aims of the project
  • the artforms involved
  • a documentation of the artistic outcomes (photos, DVD, audio, book, etc.)
  • the organisation/individual(s) that co-ordinated the project
  • an overview of who the participants/artists/audience were and the benefits of, or response to, the project (include quotes or figures).


3 Flash Fiction and Short Story
A short story, flash fiction or part of a novel. Entries must be no more than 5 sides of A4 paper.
4 Longer Fiction and Novel
A longer story, novel or part of a novel. Entries must be 6 sides of A4 paper or more.
5 Non-Fiction, Blog, Essay, Article & Review
One piece of factual writing as if written for a magazine, paper, biography, blog or non-fiction book.
6 Life story
Any autobiographical prose, from ‘My Life in 50 Words’ to a full length book.
7 Braille
Braille text, embossed illustrations and diagrams.
8 Poem
Enter one poem as one entry.
9 Poetry Collection
Ten or more poems arranged in a particular order with an overall title – in book or pamphlet form, or as if being submitted for publication. Short collections featuring the strongest poems are encouraged.
10 Anthology
A volume of mixed writing, such as a mixture of poems and fiction or essays. Anthologies containing only poems should be submitted into Poetry Collection. Short anthologies featuring the strongest pieces of writing are encouraged.
11 Stage Play
Script with stage directions – a short play, full-length play or part of one.
12 Radio Play
Script with studio directions – a full-length drama or part of one.
13 Screenplay
Script with directions for TV or film.
14 Song Writing
Lyrics for a song – not including the musical score or any recorded element.

Performance & Audio

15 Spoken Word
Audio recording of a performance or reading of an original work, e.g. a recording of a group or individual’s own poem, story or play. Recordings and performances of existing texts should be entered in Performance.
16 Performance
DVD, video or audio recording of a performance. This includes theatre, dance and performance art, as well as audio performances of existing scripts, poems or stories. For example, this could be reading of a story on CD (ideal for Storybook Dads) or it could be a DVD of a dance routine. Audio recordings of original texts should be entered in Spoken Word.
17 Radio Production
Audio recording of an original broadcast radio production or an edited compilation, e.g. spot/advert, documentary or interview. Up to 30 mins.
18 Music Composition
A written score (not a recording) with or without lyrics. If lyrics are included, say whether or not they are original.
19 Choral Music
A recording of a performance of choral music by a group of singers. Please state on the disc or packaging whether the music and lyrics are original or existing.
20 Singer-Songwriter – Original
A recording of a performance by a musician or small group, that writes, composes and sings their own material including lyrics and melodies.
21 Cover Version
A recording of an individual or group performing an existing song. Your own interpretation of the song is encouraged.
22 Instrumental
A recording of a musician or small group performing their own or existing music with no lyrics. Please state on the disc or packaging whether the music is original or existing.
23 Hip Hop, Rap & Grime
A recording of a musician or small group performing their own material.
24 Computer Generated Music
A recording of original music generated entirely, or mostly, using computers.

Film and Animation

25 Film
Dramatic or documentary film on video or DVD. Special care should be taken to explain on the disc or packaging which elements were produced by professionals.
26 Animation
Animated film on video, DVD or CD. Special care should be taken to explain on the disc or packaging which elements were produced by professionals.

Fine Art

27 Painting
A painting mainly in oil, acrylic or tempera.
28 Watercolour and Gouache
29 Drawing
Pencil, charcoal, felt pen or ink.
30 Pastel
If possible, use fixative to prevent smudging.
31 Portrait
All portraits submitted in other visual artforms will be entered into this category.
32 Mixed Media
2D work including collages, silk painting or use of unusual materials.
33 Sculpture
Abstract or representational form in the round or in relief made from any material. Items larger than 2’ x 3’ x 4’ must be delivered and collected by hand. Items made of clay should be entered in Ceramics.
34 Digital Art
A digital print (with little or no text) produced or formatted by computer.
35 Graphic Novel
A full length graphic novel or up to three short comics, comic strips or one-off cartoons, with or without text.
36 Mural and Wall Hanging
37 Printmaking
Block prints, etchings, lino prints, mono prints, screen prints, handprinted wallpaper etc.
38 Photography
Up to five original photographs as individual prints, or in a portfolio or book (counted as one entry). Any size or shape, colour or black-and-white. Slides and discs are not accepted.
39 Ceramics
A vase, plate, bowl or sculpture made from clay, air-dried or fired.
40 Textile Art
Weaving, macramé, machine embroidery and collage. Flat or raised surface, in 2D or 3D. Includes soft furnishings such as cushions, table linen, bed linen, bath linen, rugs, etc.

Craft and Design

41 Handmade Book
A handmade original or limited edition artist’s book, containing visual artwork and/or text. The judges will be looking for creativity and artistry in the binding and content.
42 Calligraphy
Hand-lettering of your own or others’ words in any language. May include decoration and pictorial elements.
43 Handmade Greetings Card
44 Graphic Design
A printed item with images and text which may be produced or formatted by computer, eg. a poster, leaflet, booklet, sign, logo or up to three issues of a magazine, judged for visual quality. Also includes web design which should be submitted on CD or DVD with a printout on paper.
45 Matchstick Model
May be coloured and include other supporting materials.
46 Craft
Including toys, jewellery, mosaics and paper folding.
47 Woodcraft
Emphasis on skills in joinery, veneering, marquetry, turning, carving and fine decoration. Metal and other materials may be added.
48 Furniture
Only photographs may be submitted. Do not send the original item. Any material may be used.
49 Needlecraft
Knitting, crochet, needlepoint and any other items made by hand using needles or hooks. Include explanatory notes, preparatory sketches and any pattern used.
50 Fashion
Dressmaking and tailoring. Include explanatory notes, preparatory sketches and any pattern used. Enter jewellery in Craft.
51 Hairstyling
52 Beauty
Including make-up, theatre make-up and nail art.