2016 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition for Young Writers from Commonwealth Nations

Submission Deadline: 1st May 2016

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016 is now open for entries; submissions can be made until 1st May 2016.

This year’s theme invites young people to think about whether or not it is possible to be living responsibly and tolerantly in an increasingly interconnected Commonwealth.
Through the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, the Royal Commonwealth Society provides an opportunity for young people to share their stories and have their voices heard.

The overarching theme for 2016 is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, which is also the 2016 Commonwealth Year theme, and a topical theme for today’s youth. Both Senior and Junior topics give young people the opportunity to think about aspects of the theme such as: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today.

The topics are a chance to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.

Born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years)
1 Imagine inviting a stranger to your country. How would you welcome them?
2 My ideal community.
3 Are we really so different?
4 Tales of an ‘insider/outsider’.
Born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18 years)
1 Let them in.
2 How can you balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the crowd?
3 The wealth we have in common.
4 Is it possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society?


Submission Requirements:

  • The Competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories.
  • Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 1st May 2016.
  • Only one essay per entrant is allowed.
  • Entries must be written in English.
  • The maximum word counts are 1500 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.
  • Plagiarism: 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 unduly corrected or improved by another person.
  • Essays can only be uploaded in either word doc. or pdf format.


  • 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 RCS is not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced in September 2016.
  • 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.

E-Mail:[email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2016 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition


3 responses to “2016 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition for Young Writers from Commonwealth Nations”

  1. Anekwe Kingsley Chukwuebuka Avatar
    Anekwe Kingsley Chukwuebuka

    Comment: Thanks for the update

  2. Santanu Bhattacharya Avatar
    Santanu Bhattacharya

    Is there any essay writing currently between July to Dec 2016

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

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