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Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition

Have you: 

If you answered 'yes' to all of the above, then you are ready to enter The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.


Submit your entry online

Important information for teachers: During the registration process, you will need to enter as 'A teacher, on behalf of pupils'. You will then have the option to add additional pupils (as many as necessary). Please be sure to enter all the mandatory information for each student. You'll be given an individual reference number for each student which is needed to download the student’s certificate. Please be sure to keep these reference numbers safe so you can download the certificates for your students, or you can pass on appropriate reference numbers to each individual so they can download their own certificates when the results are announced in August 2018.
Enter online.

Submit your entry by post

Offline submissions are very difficult to process and can mean that your entry arrives after the Competition closing date. We will only accept an offline entry where the person submitting has no access to internet and is unable to submit online. 

If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete an entry form in block capitals and attach it to the front of your essay. Entries should be sent to your nearest postal hub, details of which are listed below.

Please note that for postal entries, your essay must be received by 1 May 2018 in order to be eligible. We therefore suggest that you send your essay with plenty of time for delivery, as essays received by a postal hub after 1 May will not be considered in the competition. 

Europe
The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Royal Commonwealth Society
Commonwealth House
55-58 Pall Mall
London
SW1Y 5JH
UK 

Africa
The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
British High Commission
Julius Nyerere Links
PO Box 296
Accra
Ghana 

Americas and the Caribbean 
The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Royal Commonwealth Society 
P.O. Box 878
Bridgetown
Barbados

Asia
The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
Education Department
British Council
30 Napier Road
Singapore 258509

Pacific
The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
PO Box 10-741
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

Please ensure your envelope is clearly labelled with The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition in bold

All individuals and schools are encouraged to enter online if possible.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. The competition is used by individuals and teachers to build confidence, develop writing skills, support creativity and encourage critical thinking, using literacy to empower young people to become global citizens.

All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners' Week in London. Past winners include author Elspeth Huxley, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mei Fong, and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.

Towards a Common Future

Building upon the 2017 theme of 'A Commonwealth for Peace', this year’s theme 'Towards a Common Future' and its topicsask young writers to explore how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

Download the 2018 Flyer
Topics

Senior Category
Born between 2nd June 1999 and 31st May 2004 (14-18 years of age)

  1. The road to a safer future.
  2. How does education contribute to a fairer future? 
  3. ‘Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Free’: is one more important than the others?
  4. Future generations have rights too, which must be defended. Discuss. 

Junior Category
Born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age)

  1. What does a 'safer future' mean to you and your community? 
  2. Write a recipe for a common future: what ingredients will you need? What is the best method for making it? What will it look like?
  3. ‘A Day in the Life’. Imagine you are your country’s Head of Government for the day: how will you build a better future for young people?
  4. Our Common Earth.

Judges described entries to the competition in 2017 as ‘emotive’ ‘hauntingly assuring’ ’striking’ and as having ‘powerful narratives’, that ‘this letter should be read by everyone’. We expect a similiarly high calibre of writing for 2018.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under until 1 June 2018. All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week-long series of educational and cultural events. For more information about the competition, please visit Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t forget to stay in touch with the RCS by signing up to our newsletter.

History of the Essay Competition

The RCS has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth. We endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people by celebrating excellence and imagination. Run by the RCS since 1883, this international schools’ writing contest – the world's oldest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project.

In 2015, the contest was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s role as both Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

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