Poetry and prose have a long tradition in secure establishments and the criminal justice system. Requiring only a pen and paper, we receive thousands of written entries each year.

Poetry is the most popular type of submission – with over 1,000 poems submitted annually across the poem, anthology, poetry collection and themed categories.

Other written categories in the Koestler Awards include flash fiction and short story; longer fiction and novel; non-fiction; blog; essay; article and review; life story; braille; poem; poetry collection; anthology; stage play; radio play; screenplay and songwriting.

You can read a selection of written work from previous Koestler Awards, with writing tips and ideas to inspire you to pick up a pencil yourself, in our booklet Voices from Prison (pdf).

Explore more artforms

Take a closer look at the work of Koestler Awards entrants in the online galleries.

Click here