Commonwealth Essay Competition

‘A Young Commonwealth’

This year’s theme, ‘A Young Commonwealth’, recognises that young people account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and play a vital role in shaping the world that we live in, now and in years to come. The Royal Commonwealth Society is inviting young people to share their hopes and concerns for the future, thereby generating an important youth perspective and Commonwealth wide dialogue as the international community gathers to set development goals for the next 15 years.

Click here to download the competition flyer for display in classrooms, to share with friends and for reference to the topics.

The competition is open to young writers aged 18 and under who are living in, or a national of, a Commonwealth country or territory. All entries must be in English and are to be submitted online.

Important dates:

The deadline for entries is 1st May 2015.

The results will be announced early September 2015.

For 2015, The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is run in partnership with Cambridge University Press.

Participants are encouraged to be creative in their response. Answers can be submitted in number of formats, for example: poem, letter, folk tale, script or essay.

Multiple submissions are not allowed and will lead to disqualification. For more information, see the Terms and Conditions.

Junior Category

Born after 1st May 2001 (under 14 years)
1.What are the advantages and disadvantages of being young?
2.Imagine what the world will be like when you are an old person.
3.I am the future!
4.Imagine you are a young person living in a different part of the Commonwealth. What is life like for you?

Senior Category

Born between 2nd May 1996 and 1st May 2001 (14-18 years)
1.What do you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
2.In 2030 you will no longer be young. What changes would you like to see in the world in 15 years’ time?
3.Youth versus experience.
4.Fresh perspectives. What can a young Commonwealth offer?

Queens CW ESsay Comp logo

The Royal Commonwealth Society 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.

Our essay competition gives young people from diverse backgrounds a platform to express their views about the world and their dreams for the future. Participants continue to demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important issues like poverty, sustainable development, gender inequality, child labour and universal education.

From 2015, the contest will be known as ‘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.

For 132 years, the competition has inspired thousands of young writers from all over the world. Run by the RCS, this schools’ international writing contest – the world’s oldest and largest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project. In 2014, nearly 10,000 young people from 44 Commonwealth countries and territories took part.

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. Every year, judges are impressed with the extremely high standard of entry as participants compete with their peers from every corner of the Commonwealth. For many bright and ambitious students, this is the ultimate competition!

Run in partnership with Cambridge University Press, the competition remains an important means of expression for young people across the Commonwealth.

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