Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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  • A Stranger on the Shore

    A Stranger on the Shore is a writing anthology illustrated by Melissa Castillon. It was generated by the 2014 Koestler Awards from prisons and secure hospitals in the West Midlands and published alongside Double Take: the Koestler Exhibition for the West Midlands in January 2015. This booklet unfolds to become an elegant poster.

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