The Royal Commonwealth Society is pleased to announce the theme for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020 – A Connected Commonwealth.
Building upon the 2019 theme of A Connected Commonwealth, this year’s topics draw on the increasing youth movement across the Commonwealth and the ongoing climate crisis. Young people are called upon to consider their position and power in bringing about change, and how the Commonwealth can be used as a tool for positive action. Our Final Panel of expert judges described entries to the competition in 2019 as ‘massively memorable’, ‘original’ and ‘very powerful’. We expect a similarly high caliber of writing for 2020.
For 2020, we want to hear from all young people, regardless of age, education or region. All stories are important and all voices matter.
The QCEC is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under and is open until 30 June 2020. 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.
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Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition Details:
- United Kingdom
Born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years of age)
- Imagine you are President of one of the Commonwealth’s 31 Small States and you have been invited to give a speech on Climate Change to other Commonwealth leaders, what will you say
- There is no Planet B: How will Climate Change affect you and your community?
- ‘We will never stop fighting for this planet’ – Greta Thunberg. How can young people make change happen?
- The destruction of the Oceans everyone’s concern.
Born on or after 1 July 2006 (under 14 years of age)
- Imagine you are Planet Earth, what would you say to Humans?
- A Blue Commonwealth: it is not too late to save our oceans. True or False?
- In 2019, students in more than 100 countries walked out of school to protest climate change. How can young people get their voices heard and make a difference?
- My planet, my place.
- 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.
- 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 in August 2019. Past prizes have included:
- Resources for the winner’s school
- Visits to Cambridge University
- A trip to London and a week of activities
- Work experience at international organizations, and
- Having your entry featured in worldwide media
- RCS regional and branch offices often hold ceremonies or offer prizes. Please contact your nearest RCS branch after the competition closes on 1 June 2018, to inquire about any activities planned.
- The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth Countries
How to Apply for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020?
- The Royal Commonwealth Society is building a new online platform that will be much easier to use and accessible on all devices, but it’s not quite ready yet.
- They are encouraging young people to begin writing their pieces and will open the new platform for submissions in early 2020.
- Please note: They do not accept essays sent by email.
Offline Submission (Post): (Check the How to Enter section in the official website for more details)
- Offline submissions are very difficult to process and can mean that your entry arrives after the Competition closing date. They will only accept an offline entry where the person submitting has no access to the internet and is unable to submit online.
- If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete an entry form (Can be found in the official website) 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 30th May 2020 in order to be eligible. They, 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.
- Check the official website for the posting address.
Terms & Conditions:
Entries will be disqualified if they fail to meet any of the following requirements:
- The international writing 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 30th June 2020. Senior entrants must be born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years) and Junior entrants must be born after 1 July 2006 (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 an automatic disqualification. References and footnotes are not included in the word count.
- Entries must be written in English.
- Only one entry per participant is allowed. 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 our guide to plagiarism before submitting it.
- Final documents should not include the entrant’s personal details including name, age, school or country. This information should be inputted to the system 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 entries must be written on and relevant to one of the supplied topics in the relevant age category.
- All online entries must be submitted before 5pm (GMT) on 30th June 2020; any offline entries must arrive at the RCS offices in London by 30th May 2020 or they will not be counted.
- 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 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.
- The last date to apply for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019 (Win a trip to London) is June 30, 2020.