Deadline: May 15, 2024 23:59 BST
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Eligibility: nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of Hong Kong, Ireland, and Zimbabwe

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest international writing competition, and it celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024. The competition invites all young writers to try their skills and amplify their voices.

Winners will be invited to London for a week filled with educational and cultural events. Moreover, the culmination of the week will hold a special Awards Ceremony. In addition, all successful entries will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Eligibility for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024

The competition welcomes nationals or residents from all Commonwealth countries and territories, along with residents from Hong Kong, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries with an operational RCS branch or affiliated/partner organization can apply through their local RCS branch.

Categories and topics

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition offers two categories, each featuring four potential topics to explore. There is no minimum word count requirement, but all entries must be written in English. The respective limits and topics for each category are listed below.

Senior Category

Senior entrants must be born between 16 May 2005 and 15 May 2010 (14-18 years). The maximum word counts are 1,500 words for all topics and formats.

  1. “It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”– Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. What small steps can you take to help tackle the climate crisis?   
  2. Write a speech highlighting what you think is the most challenging issue facing the world today, and how Commonwealth values can be used to solve it.      
  3. At the heart of the Samoan way of life is ‘aiga’, meaning ‘family’ values including selflessness, hospitality, cooperation, respect, and dignity. What core values and ideas from your culture can be used to enhance cooperation and community in the Commonwealth?  
  4. The Commonwealth’s London Declaration aimed to strive for peace, liberty, and progress. Write a letter to your President or Prime Minister about how to achieve those aims. 

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Junior category

Junior entrants must be born after 16 May 2010 (under 14 years of age). The maximum word counts are 750 words for all topics and formats.

  1. What new habit could you adopt to positively contribute towards a greener Commonwealth? 
  2. Write a dialogue between yourself and a grandparent about resilience and hope. What can you share with the older generation, and what can you learn from them? 
  3. You are taking part in a beach clean-up and discover that you can speak to sea creatures. What are they saying, and how do you respond? 
  4. You’re on a school exchange in a Commonwealth country different from your own. How do you make friends with people your age? (Consider similarities and differences in culture that may unite you).

Interested in applying for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.

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