Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016 is now open for entries; submissions can be made until 1st May 2016.

The overarching theme for 2016 is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, which is also the 2016 Commonwealth Year theme, and a topical theme for today’s youth. Both Senior and Junior topics give young people the opportunity to think about aspects of the theme such as: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today. The topics are a chance to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.

Born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years)
1 Imagine inviting a stranger to your country.
How would you welcome them?
2 My ideal community.
3 Are we really so different?
4 Tales of an ‘insider/outsider’.
Born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18 years)
1 Let them in.
2 How can you balance the needs of the individual with
the needs of the crowd?
3 The wealth we have in common.
4 Is it possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society?


  • To enter the competition, you must be living in, or a national of, a Commonwealth country or territory.
  • All entries must be in English and are to be submitted online at
  • Participants are encouraged to be creative in their responses. Answers can be submitted in a number of formats, for example a poem, letter, folk tale, script or essay – the choice is yours.
  • Terms and Conditions
  • 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, Ireland, 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. Senior entrants must be born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18) and Junior entrants must be born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years of age).
  • 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.
  • Entries must be written in English.
  • 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.)
  • Essays can only be uploaded in either word document or .pdf format.

Please visit for full terms and conditions.

There will be a Winner and Runner-up in each category. Winners and Runnersup 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.

Click here to submit your entry online
For address to sent by mail click here
Click here for Competition Flyer


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