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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  • Voices Out Loud

A performer from Synergy Theatre Project

Voices Out Loud

Another Me, Royal Festival Hall, October 2019

Actors from Synergy Theatre Project, with lived experience of the criminal justice system, performed texts by Koestler Awards entrants in the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 5 and Sunday 13 October.

Watch a video of their performance below, including work featured in Another Me and our poetry anthology, Koestler Voices: New Poetry from Prisons Vol. 2.

Get your copy of our poetry anthology, with a foreword by George the Poet, here.