2019 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition for Young Writers from Commonwealth Nations

Application Deadline: May 1st 2019

The Royal Commonwealth Society is pleased to announce the theme for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019 – A Connected Commonwealth.

Building on the 2018 theme of Towards a Common Future, this year’s topics ask young writers to explore the shared values, interests and experiences across the network, and how they can use this to make positive change. It calls on young people to consider the potential of the Commonwealth in strengthening the cast and varied links between citizens.

For 2019, we want to hear from all young people, regardless of schooling, education or region. All stories and voices are important.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under and runs from Monday 5 November until 1 June 2019. 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 of educational and cultural events.

Topics

SENIOR CATEGORY

Born between 2 June 2000 and 1 June 2005 (14-18 years of age)

  1. ‘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?
  2. Connected by the oceans; can we work together to protect the environment?
  3. ‘We are all now connected by the Internet’ – Stephen Hawking. What does the future hold for humankind?
  4. Family, Community, Nation, Commonwealth. What are the opportunities for shared, sustainable growth?

JUNIOR CATEGORY

Born on or after 2 June 2005 (under 14 years of age)

  1. My cultural connections.
  2. An overseas visitor is coming to your town for the first time.  How would you connect with them?
  3. A place I feel connected to.
  4. The Commonwealth connects people across borders – what can we learn from our neighbours?

Judges described entries to the competition in 2018 as ‘‘fantastically imaginative’, ‘hopeful’, ‘quite exceptional’ and ‘passionate’. We expect a similarly high calibre of writing for 2019.

Guideline:

Entries will be disqualified if they fail to meet any of the following requirements:

    1. The competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of the Maldives and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries whose entries are submitted through their local RCS branch are also eligible.
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
    4. Entries must be written in English.
    5. 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.)
    6. Plagiarism is not accepted in the competition. Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism.

Timeline:

  • 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

Having trouble submitting your essay? Contact competitions@thercs.org

How to Submit:

Offline submissions are very difficult to process and can mean that your entry arrives after the Competition closing date. We will only accept an offline entry where the person submitting has no access to internet and is unable to submit online.

If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete an entry form in block capitals and attach it to the front of your essay. Entries should be sent to your nearest postal hub, details of which are listed below.

Please note that for postal entries, your essay must be received by 1 May 2019 in order to be eligible. We therefore suggest that you send your essay with plenty of time for delivery, as essays received by a postal hub after 1 May will not be considered in the competition.

Europe
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Royal Commonwealth Society
Commonwealth House
55-58 Pall Mall
London
SW1Y 5JH
UK

Africa
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
British High Commission
Julius Nyerere Links
PO Box 296
Accra
Ghana

Americas and the Caribbean
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Royal Commonwealth Society
P.O. Box 878
Bridgetown
Barbados

Asia
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
Education Department
British Council
30 Napier Road
Singapore 258509

Pacific
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
PO Box 10-741
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

Please ensure your envelope is clearly labelled with ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019

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