The Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice started in 1962. Each year over 3,500 people in custody and in the community share their creative work by taking part. The Koestler Awards provide feedback and encouragement to entrants of all abilities in visual art, design, writing and music.
In addition to the Koestler Awards, we also run an arts mentoring scheme for former prisoners who want to continue to develop their work in the community. Find out more about Koestler Arts Mentoring.
2022 Koestler Awards
2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the Koestler Awards - help us celebrate this anniversary by sharing your visual art, writing, design or music. Deadline 7 April 2022.
Find out more
Entries are judged by over 100 experts from different fields
Read more about the judging process
Feedback is an important part of the Koestler Awards. Entrants receive comments and ideas on how to develop their work from judges, volunteers or the Koestler Arts team
Find out more about feedback
Under 18s Fast Feedback
All entrants under 18 can receive their certificate and feedback within 4 weeks of entry, and enter at any point of the year
Learn more about support for under 18s
Throughout the year we sell visual arts and crafts on behalf of Koestler Awards entrants. We do this online, through our pop-up shop, in our building and at our exhibitions.
Visit the online shop
Exhibitions and Events
Each year, we show a selection of Koestler Awards entries to the public at our annual UK exhibition at Southbank Centre, as well as exhibitions and events around the UK
Find out more about our public exhibitions and events