The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition

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The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. The competition is used by individuals and teachers to build confidence, develop writing skills, support creativity and encourage critical thinking, using literacy to empower young people to become global citizens.

All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners' Week in London. Past winners include author Elspeth Huxley, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mei Fong, and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2018 is now closed for entries; our team of pan-Commonwealth judges is now reading and assessing every single entry. Results will be announced in September 2018, but in the meantime there are many ways in which you can keep in touch with the competition.

Follow us on Social Media

The competition is on Facebook and Twitter,  @CWEssayComp. 

Record yourself reading your essay

Bring your piece to life and create a short recording of yourself reading your entry. This can be as simple as reciting a few lines of your poem recorded on a mobile phone, or a full production of your script! Send your recordings to and we may post it on our Social Media channels.

Our Common Earth

This year’s competition focused on Towards a Common Future, a theme that will continue throughout the year. Why not take a picture or video of your impression of #OurCommonEarth, send it to and we might feature you on our social media pages! It could be a picture of your garden, an ocean or a group of change-makers (if you have their permission)

2017 Results 

While you're waiting to hear the results of the Competition, why not review our wonderful 2017 winners! You can read pieces by Senior Winner, Annika Turon Semmens; Senior Runner Up, Hiya Chowdhury; Junior Winner, Ariadna Sullivan and Junior Runner Up, Ry Galloway or listen to our BBC World Service Outlook Episode


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