Commonwealth Youth Essay Competition

Deadline: June 1, 2018

Interested in current issues? Want to EXPRESS YOUR ideas globally? Ready to write about it? The Royal Commonwealth Society invites entries for the The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2018 for a chance to win a trip to London. The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, established in 1883. With thousands of young people taking part every year, it is an important way for the young voice of the Commonwealth to be developed and heard.

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.

Categories

Senior Categore:  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.

Prizes

  • All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation
  • 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.

Eligibility

  • The competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of The Gambia, the Maldives and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries whose entries are submitted through their local RCS branch are also eligible.
  • Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 1st May 2017. Senior entrants must be born between 2nd June 1999 and 1st June 2004 (14-18) and Junior entrants must be born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age).
  • The maximum word counts are 1,500 words for Senior entries and 750 words for Junior entries. These word limits apply to all topics and all formats (essay, poem, letter, etc). Exceeding the word count will result in automatic disqualification.
  • Entries must be written in English.
  • Only one entry per participant is allowed. Once an essay is submitted, students/teachers will nothave the opportunity to revise it. Please carefully check and improve your writing before submitting the final copy, and also ensure that all supplementary information is filled in correctly (name, contact details, topic number, etc.)

Application

See the Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Essays can only be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or in PDF format (.pdf). The online platform does not accept Google Docs (.gdoc), Pages documents (.pages) or other word processor formats. Note: if they are unable to find or open your essay file (either through an incorrect format or upload error), your entry may not be counted in the competition.
  2. All online entries must be submitted before midnight (GMT) on 1st June 2018; any offline entries must arrive at RCS London by 1st May 2018

In order to submit your essay you will need to register, making sure to complete all the mandatory fields. The password you register with will be used to login to your account, where you can see your registration details and reference number.

Having trouble submitting your essay? Contact[email protected]

For more information, visit The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

The Royal Commonwealth Society has today launched The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017, focusing on the topic of A Commonwealth for Peace. The launch coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Building upon the 2016 theme of An Inclusive Commonwealth, this year’s topics ask young people to explore a deeper understanding of the meaning of peace and the role of the Commonwealth as a network of and for democracy, human rights and peace.

The Director of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Michael Lake CBE, said: "Peace is at the heart of the Commonwealth as one of the core articles of the Commonwealth Charter. This year’s topic of ‘A Commonwealth for Peace’ asks young writers to explore peace at every level: from the personal to the political to the pan-Commonwealth."

Sponsored by the Cambridge University Press, this highly prestigious competition aims to challenge young people’s thinking and the means by which they can express their views, using creative forms of writing such as essays, poems, stories or scripts.

Judges described entries to the 2016 competition as ‘imaginative’, ‘inspirational’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘profound’. A similarly high calibre of writing is expected in 2017.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under and opens today until 1 May 2017. A Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a weeklong series of educational and cultural events. In recent years this week has included a special Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

Rod Smith, Managing Director of Education at Cambridge University Press, said: "The Royal Commonwealth Society shares our vision of empowerment through education, and we’re thrilled to be sponsoring The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition once again. We were astounded by the exceptional standard of entries in last year’s competition and are looking forward to celebrating exciting new work and to finding new voices from across the Commonwealth in 2017."

Notes to editors

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition was founded by the Royal Commonwealth Society in 1883 and is the world’s oldest international schools’ writing contest. The competition is sponsored by Cambridge University Press and received approximately 13,500 entries in 2016 from almost every country in the Commonwealth.

The Junior category is open to entrants aged under 14 and the Senior category is open to entrants aged 14-18.

More information about the competition including the entry rules and essay topics can be found here: www.thercs.org/competition

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Through youth empowerment, education and advocacy, the RCS promotes the value and values of the Commonwealth. www.thercs.org

Partners

Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world’s oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. Cambridge University Press has been a sponsor of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition since 2013. 

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