Deadline: 1 May 2019
Open to: nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories,as well as residents of the Maldives and Zimbabwe
Benefits: valuable prizes
Building on the 2018 theme of Towards a Common Future, this year’s topics call upon young people to consider how they can work to use cultural, technological and environmental connections for positive change across the Commonwealth. It asks young people to consider the potential of the Commonwealth in strengthening the vast and varied links between citizens.
This competition is an opportunity for all young Commonwealth citizens and residents, regardless of region, education or background, to share ideas, celebrate their story and have their voice heard – all whilst developing key skills.
Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 1st June 2019. Senior entrants must be born between 2nd June 2000 and 1st June 2005 (14-18) and Junior entrants must be born after 2 June 2005 (under 14 years of age).
The topics are:
For a senior entrants (14-18 years of age):
- ‘You are the most optimistic, connected generation the world has ever known.’ HRH The Duke of Sussex. How can you use Commonwealth connections for positive change?
- Connected by the oceans; can we work together to protect the environment?
- ‘We are all now connected by the Internet’ – Stephen Hawking. What does the future hold for humankind?
- Family, Community, Nation, Commonwealth. What are the opportunities for shared, sustainable growth?
For a junior entrants (under 14 years of age)
- My cultural connections.
- An overseas visitor is coming to your town for the first time. How would you connect with them?
- A place I feel connected to.
- The Commonwealth connects people across borders – what can we learn from our neighbours?
- 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 not have 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.)
- Plagiarism is not accepted in the competition. Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism. Please see the guide to plagiarism before submitting.
- Final documents should not include the entrants personal details including name, age, school or country. This information should be inputted upon entry.
- 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 but does exclude group entries.
- 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 we 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.
- All online entries must be submitted before midnight (GMT) on 1st June 2019; any offline entries must arrive at RCS London by 1st May 2019
- 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, corpus research or media and 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.
- The RCS suggests that entrants retain a copy of their original work as regretfully we are unable to return or provide copies of submissions.
- The RCS retains the right to change the prize of the competition if circumstances make this necessary.
- The RCS will only be able to publish on our website and in our literature content that is appropriate for a wide and diverse audience, in line with our own policies. Entrants are encouraged to consider this in relation to their use of language when entering the competition.
Prizes have traditionally been awarded only to the first prize winners in the Senior and Junior categories and also vary year by year. Prizes will be announced until after the winners are announced in August 2019. Past prizes have included certificates, resources for winner’s school, visits to Cambridge University, a trip to London and a week of activities, work experience at international organisations, and having your entry featured in worldwide media.
How to apply?
In order to apply, please register here.
For more information, please visit the official web page.