The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016 is now open for entries. The Royal Commonwealth Society, RCS, has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth. We endeavor 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 and largest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project which we run in partnership with Cambridge University Press.
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.
Open to all Commonwealth citizens aged under 18, our essay competition offers young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make their voices heard on a global platform, to engage with issues important to them and to express their aspirations for the future. Each year, participants demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important Commonwealth and global issues from a young person’s perspective and to showcase their critical and creative skills.
- JUNIOR CATEGORY
Born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years)
- Imagine inviting a stranger to your country. How would you welcome them?
- My ideal community.
- Are we really so different?
- Tales of an ‘insider/outsider’
- SENIOR CATEGORY
Born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18 years)
- Let them in.
- How can you balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the crowd?
- The wealth we have in common.
- Is it possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society?
The Royal Commonwealth Society
- There will be a Winner and Runner-up in each category. Winners and Runners-up will be flown to London for a week of cultural and educational visits, culminating in a special award event.
- All four top entries will be published by the RCS.
- A number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be made in both the Junior and Senior categories; participants who do not receive an award will be entitled to a certificate of participation
1st May 2016
Entries will be disqualified if they fail to meet any of the following requirements:
- The Competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories. Note: Special dispensation applies to entrants from Hong Kong, The Gambia and Zimbabwe who are entitled to enter the Competition.
- Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 1st May 2016. Please see the flyerfor age guidelines.
- Only one essay per entrant is allowed. Once an essay is submitted, students/teachers will not have the opportunity to revise it. Please carefully check and improve you writing before submitting the final copy, and also ensure that all supplementary information is filled in correctly (name, contact details, topic number, etc.)
- Entries must be written in English.
- Plagiarism: Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism. Plagiarism is the ‘use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author without authorisation and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author’ (dictionary.com). If using existing writing material, do cite appropriately.
- The final copy submitted for the competition MUST be the entrant’s own work, and cannot be excessively corrected or improved by another person. This does not rule out input or assistance from others. However, an entry will be disregarded if there is any suggestion of excessive external help.
- The maximum word counts are 1500 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.
- Essays can only be uploaded in either word doc. or pdf format.
- All entries must be submitted before midnight (GMT) on 1st May 2016.
- All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have for the pieces they submit, but by entering The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, each contestant consents to the use of his/her name, and/or pieces or parts thereof in any advertisements, educational materials or publicity carried out or produced by the Royal Commonwealth Society and its local branches without further notice or compensation. The Royal Commonwealth Society can publish or decline to publish; use or decline to use, any submitted pieces at the Royal Commonwealth Society’s sole discretion.
- Award-winning entrants are expected to show originality and flair, linked to sound academic standards and competent use of English as a written language. This includes a good standard of spelling and punctuation, neat presentation and clear hand-writing or word-processing.
- Entries must respond to the topic. Each year a number of good entrants must be disregarded because they do not fully answer/reflect on what the topic has asked them to do.
- Entrants are encouraged to be creative in their response to a topic. Entries can be submitted in a number of different formats: for example, a poem, letter, article, story, essay or even a short play.
- Illustrations are welcomed, particularly in Junior entries, but they must enhance the written text and add to the overall quality of the entry.
- Entries should be submitted online for the 2016 competition. However, offline submissions will be accepted where secure internet connection is an issue.
- Click here to submit your entry online. Please read the Terms and Conditions before submitting your essay as you will not be able to edit your submission once it has been uploaded. It is also a good idea to consult our Frequently Asked Questions before submitting your entry.
- If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete your entry form entry form in block capitals and attach it to the front of your essay. Entries should be sent to the below address.
- Post directly to the Royal Commonwealth Society
FAO Commonwealth Essay Competition
THE ROYAL COMMONWEALTH SOCIETY
7-11 St Matthew Street
THE ROYAL COMMONWEALTH SOCIETY
7-11 St Matthew Street
- Regional postal hubs will be available shortly, but all individuals and schools are encouraged to enter online if possible.
- 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 pass appropriate reference numbers on to each individual so they can download their own certificates when the results are announced in August 2016.
All certificates are generated online. We do not post hard copies of certificates. You will be given a reference number when you submit your essay. It is very important that you keep this number is a safe place as you will need it to download any certificates you are awarded. Teachers, please remember to retain the reference numbers for each of your students.
Having trouble submitting your essay? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org