The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools, established in 1883.
With thousands of young people taking part each year, it is an important way to recognize achievement, elevate youth voices and develop key skills through creative writing.
For 2021 the Competition theme is Community in the Commonwealth. With the global spread of COVID-19, we’ve seen the lives of many Commonwealth citizens affected. However, through adversity, societies came together and stories of growth, community, and hope continue to emerge.
- The competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of Hong Kong and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries whose entries are submitted through their local RCS branch are also eligible.
- Entries must be written in English.
- Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 30 June 2021. Senior entrants must be born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2007 (14-18 years) and Junior entrants must be born after 1 July 2007 (under 14 years of age).
- The maximum word counts are 1,500 words for Senior entries and 750 words for Junior There is no minimum word count. These word limits apply to all topics and all formats (essay, poem, letter, etc). Exceeding the word count will result in automatic disqualification. References and footnotes are not included in the word count.
- Only one entry per participant will be accepted. Please carefully check and edit your writing before submitting the final copy, and also ensure that all supplementary information is filled in correctly (name, contact details, etc.)
- Uploaded entries should not include the entrant’s personal details (e.g. name, age, school, etc.). This information should be entered during the submission process.
- Plagiarism is not accepted in the competition. Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism.
- 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.
For more information and application, visit the official website of the Queen’s Common Wealth Essay Competition.