Koestler Trust

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"In the 1950s, Arthur Koestler campaigned for the abolition of capital punishment, especially through a series of articles in The Observer newspaper and a book Reflections on Hanging (1956)... He decided to set up an annual scheme to award 'creative work in the fields of literature, the arts or sciences by those physically confined'. There was almost no precedent for work by prisoners being judged and rewarded by prominent experts from outside the prison system, but the idea was welcomed by Home Secretary RA Butler. A steering committee was set up, chaired by Koestler's literary agent AD Peters and including the editor of The Observer David Astor. Koestler was reluctant to have the scheme named after him, but the committee insisted... ver the next few years, the scheme expanded rapidly. Arthur Koestler initially paid for the prize money himself, but more funding was soon needed from other sources, and in 1969 the awards were formalised into a charitable trust. The trust went on to be chaired by:

"When Arthur Koestler died in 1983, he left £10,000 to the Trust." [1]


Accessed May 2012: [2]

Advisory Board

Accessed May 2012: [3]


Web: http://www.koestlertrust.org.uk

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Koestler Trust History, organizational web page, accessed May 2, 2012.
  2. Koestler Trust Staff, organizational web page, accessed May 2, 2012.
  3. Koestler Trust Staff, organizational web page, accessed May 2, 2012.