Deadline: May 1st 2014
Are you a writer? Are you interested in the world around you? Do you want your voice to be heard by others? If so, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is definitely for you.
Run by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest and largest schools’ international writing competition. It provides a platform for young people to compete with their peers in a truly global environment.
The theme for the 2014 Commonwealth Essay Competition is ‘Team Commonwealth‘. As athletes gather in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, team spirit will be on display both within and between nations. Young writers are encouraged to explore this theme in fun, academic, witty, and most of all creative ways!
- Open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and under, the Essay Competition offers young people the opportunity to make their voice heard on a global platform and engage with issues important to them.
Entrants are judged in two age groups, Junior (under 14 years) and Senior (14–18 years) and must be living in, or be a national of, a Commonwealth country/territory
Junior Category – Born after 1st May 2000
1. Tell us about your family or friends. Who are the team players and who are the stars?
2. ‘You’re one of us now.’
3. What makes a good team? What makes a good team player?
4. Tell us about an instance (or two) where people from different generations have worked together.
5. Have there been times in your life when you wished you had someone to team up with?
Senior Category:Born between 2nd May 1995 and 1st May 2000
1. Team Commonwealth! How would you describe what your country has to offer other members of
2. How can sport build peace in troubled communities?
3. What part does competition play in people’s daily lives?
4. Explore the relationship between ethics, sport and human rights.
5. ‘We’re a good partnership, you and I!’
Junior and Senior : A bonus topic open to all entrants
1. ‘United we stand!’
The 2014 Commonwealth Essay Competition, run in partnership with Cambridge University Press, closes for entries on Thursday 1st May.
Entrants are encouraged to be creative in their response. Answers can be submitted in a number
of formats, for example: poem, letter, folk tale, script or essay – the choice is yours!
Past prizes have included
- Certificates •
- Resources for winner’s school •
- Being invited to meet famous authors •
- Taking part in expert workshops •
Work experience at international organisations • Entries featured in worldwide media.
How to enter
All essays must be in English and can be submitted with an entry form online or via post. For details on postal hubs and how to submit your essay, please visit www.thercs.org
FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions,
The Royal Commonwealth Society,
25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP*
For More Information:
Visit the Official Webpage of the Commonwealth Essay Competition
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
Born between 2nd June 1999 and 31st May 2004 (14-18 years of age)
- The road to a safer future.
- How does education contribute to a fairer future?
- ‘Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Free’: is one more important than the others?
- Future generations have rights too, which must be defended. Discuss.
Born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age)
- What does a 'safer future' mean to you and your community?
- 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?
- ‘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?
- 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.