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Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition 2014

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. The competition is used by individuals and teachers to build confidence, develop writing skills, support creativity and encourage critical thinking, using literacy to empower young people to become global citizens.

All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners' Week in London. Past winners include author Elspeth Huxley, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mei Fong, and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.

Towards a Common Future

Building upon the 2017 theme of 'A Commonwealth for Peace', this year’s theme 'Towards a Common Future' and its topicsask young writers to explore how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

Download the 2018 Flyer
Topics

Senior Category
Born between 2nd June 1999 and 31st May 2004 (14-18 years of age)

  1. The road to a safer future.
  2. How does education contribute to a fairer future? 
  3. ‘Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Free’: is one more important than the others?
  4. Future generations have rights too, which must be defended. Discuss. 

Junior Category
Born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age)

  1. What does a 'safer future' mean to you and your community? 
  2. Write a recipe for a common future: what ingredients will you need? What is the best method for making it? What will it look like?
  3. ‘A Day in the Life’. Imagine you are your country’s Head of Government for the day: how will you build a better future for young people?
  4. Our Common Earth.

Judges described entries to the competition in 2017 as ‘emotive’ ‘hauntingly assuring’ ’striking’ and as having ‘powerful narratives’, that ‘this letter should be read by everyone’. We expect a similiarly high calibre of writing for 2018.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under until 1 June 2018. 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-long series of educational and cultural events. For more information about the competition, please visit Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t forget to stay in touch with the RCS by signing up to our newsletter.

History of the Essay Competition

The RCS has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth. We endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people by celebrating excellence and imagination. Run by the RCS since 1883, this international schools’ writing contest – the world's oldest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project.

In 2015, the contest was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s role as both Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2015, based on the theme of ‘A Young Commonwealth’, met with a record response.

The Royal Commonwealth Society received more than 13,000 entries from over 600 schools in 49 Commonwealth countries and territories. Both the Senior and the Junior judging panels were impressed by the quality of the entries.

This year the top Winners and Runners-up come from Cyprus, Tristan da Cunha, Botswana and the Cayman Islands;additionally the judges selected one additional Senior entrant and two additional Junior entrants to receive special commendations. In total over 3,000 participants won an award, Gold, Silver or Bronze.

In recognition of their achievement, the Winners and Runners-Up were flown to London for October’s ‘Winners’ Week’, five days of cultural and educational activities, culminating in a special award event at Buckingham Palace. Watch the video below.

On 5th December the Hong Kong Award winners will be presented with their certificates at a ceremony at the Helena May by Dr. Verner Bickley.  The Award winners are :

Senior Silver Award:

Alvin Yu of St. Joesph’s College

Senior Bronze Award:

Belinda Ng of South Island School

Sherman Lamof St. Joseph’s College

Wallace Fan(school unknown)

Junior Gold Award:

Cameron Setiadi of the Singapore International School

Junior Silver Award:

Germaine Kimberly Lau of the Chinese International School

Sabrina Hwang of the Singapore International School

Junior Bronze Award:

Yu Ting Lai of Dunman High School

Ethan Lau of the Singapore International School

Dorothy Poonof St. Mary’s Canossian College

Congratulations to all Hong Kong Award winners and to all that entered.

 

If you would like to attend the Award Ceremony at 10am at the Helena May on 5th December please contact secretary@rcshk.com.

 

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