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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  • Judging Blog

Judging Blog

Behind the Scenes at the Koestler Awards

This year we’re writing a blog about the judging process for the Koestler Awards, giving an insight into how the decisions are made and revealing our expert judges’ tips on how to make an outstanding piece of work.

The Koestler Awards have 52 different categories, from matchstick models to handmade books, and our judges are drawn from many different professions.

Our fantastic team of judges this year includes Emma Bridgewater, Hot Chip, Jeremy Deller, Cariad Lloyd and many more.

To read the blog, click here.=