2017 The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

2017 The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition


The Royal Commonwealth Society is pleased to announce that the theme for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017 is A Commonwealth for Peace.

We are asking young writers to explore peace at every level, from the personal to the political to the pan-Commonwealth.

The Queens Commonwealth Essay
The Queens Commonwealth Essay

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, established in 1883. With thousands of young people taking part every year, it is an important way for the young voice of the Commonwealth to be developed and heard.


All citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under.


The Royal Commonwealth Society


A Commonwealth for Peace.

JUNIOR CATEGORY Born after 1st May 2003 (under 14 years)

  1. What is in your Toolbox for Peace?
  2. My peaceful place.
  3. How can children and young people come together to build a peaceful society?
  4. ‘Peace cannot be learnt from a book or from religion. You have to reach out and touch the nations.’ How does this relate to the Commonwealth?

SENIOR CATEGORY Born between 2nd May 1998 and 1st May 2003 (14-18 years)

  1. Peace
  2. Should you fight for peace?
  3. Kofi Annan said ‘Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name.’ Do you agree? Answer with reference to your country and/or the Commonwealth.
  4. What is the cost of peace?

Reward Proposed

  • All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation.
  • A number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be given in both the Senior and Junior categories.
  • A Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week-long series of educational and cultural events.


1st May, 2017

Rules for Application

  • All entries must be in English.
  • Special dispensation applies to entrants from Hong Kong, Ireland, The Gambia and Zimbabwe, who are also eligible.
  • Entrants are asked to present their work in the format that best conveys their message, be that an essay, poem, story, folk tale, script, reportage, monologue or other written style.
  • Photos and drawings are encouraged, particularly in the Junior Category.
  • The maximum word counts are 1,500 words for Senior entries and 750 words for Junior These word limits apply to all topics and all formats (essay, poem, letter, etc). Exceeding the word count will result in automatic disqualification.
  • 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 your writing before submitting the final copy, and also ensure that all supplementary information is filled in correctly (name, contact details, topic number, etc.)
  • 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. However, an entry will be disregarded if there is any suggestion of excessive external help.
  • Essays can only be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document (.doc) 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.
  • Please note: Winners and Runners-up of the pan-Commonwealth competition will have their full names, schools, essays and photographs displayed on the RCS website and social media channels.
  • Full terms and conditions are available at here.

Further Enquiries

Send all enquiries to competitions@thercs.org

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