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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Detail from Home of the Soul: Award Winning Writing From Scotland

Home of the Soul

Home of the Soul - Cover

Home of the Soul: Koestler Award-winning Writing From Scotland

Home of the Soul is an anthology that reveals the moving and  ingenious writing generated by the Koestler Awards in Scotland. It was produced in collaboration with STIR, a magazine featuring writing and artworks created in Scottish prisons, and edited by a team of prisoners in HM Prison Shotts. Anthologies were distributed at 183 More Sleeps, throughout Scottish Prisons and can be downloaded here.