Magilligan prisoners’ writing skills recognised in UK-wide competition | Newry News | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Magilligan prisoners’ writing skills recognised in UK-wide competition | Newry News

Prisoners at Magilligan have picked up a record 28 creative writing awards in the annual Koestler Arts competition.


Magilligan prisoners’ writing skills recognised in UK-wide competition | Newry News - news in newry


Koestler Arts is a UK prison arts charity which encourages people in the criminal justice system to change their lives by participating in the arts.

One Gold, two Silver, three Bronze, two Outstanding Debut Awards, five Highly Commended and 15 Commended awards were collected by the Magilligan prisoners.

One prisoner also picked up a platinum award in the UK–wide screenplay category.

Two poems from the creative writing group were also selected to be included in Koestler’s biennial poetry anthology, distributed to prison libraries all over the UK. 


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Gary Milling, Governor at Magilligan Prison, says, “This is the highest number of Koestler creative writing awards we have ever received in any year.

“I’m also delighted that ‘Time In’, the Magilligan prison magazine produced by prisoners, got a Gold Award as it reflects a collective project. They are all well-deserved winners.”

Governor Milling adds, “This is all about building self-esteem, encouraging those people in our care to lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts.”

John Graham, head of education at the Magilligan campus of the North West Regional College, says, “We are delighted that students in Magilligan have been awarded an unprecedented number of Koestler Awards in Creative Writing.

“The power of education transforms lives, and I firmly believe by encouraging prisoners in Magilligan to participate in creative writing, and continuing their educational journey, this can happen.”

Fred Caulfield, Executive Director of Prison Arts Foundation, says, “Consistently over many years, I find myself astonished at the number of Koestler awards which are won by prisoners.

“Here again to prove my point, in 2023, Koestler Award winners in creative writing total of 28 Awards.

“This number actually stems from two sources: year by year, the extraordinary developmental, artistic skills and educational professionalism of the artists that deliver our programmes; the other source is, of course, the high standard of prisoners’ creative work, which shows the value of the arts in prison.”


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Posted by on Dec 14 2023. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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