The theme for 2019 is A Connected Commonwealth. 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.
Worth of Award
- Prizes have traditionally been awarded only to the first prize winners in the Senior and Junior categories and also vary year by year. This means they are not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced.
- 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. RCS regional and branch offices often hold ceremonies or offer prizes.
- 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.
- 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 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 their 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.
How to Apply
- 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 they 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) on1st June 2019; any offline entries must arrive at RCS London by1st 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 they are unable to return or provide copies of submissions.
Deadline: The deadline for entries is June 1, 2019.