Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016

Are you young under the age of 18? Do you like to express yourself through writing or poetry? Do you like to create theatrical characters and write plays? Then take part in the 133rd Annual International School Writing Competition of Commonwealth, on “An Inclusive Commonwealth”.

This year’s Commonwealth theme “An Inclusive Commonwealth”, celebrates the diversity of the Commonwealth with a population of more than 2 billion people in 53 countries. The theme is celebrated on Commonwealth Day, by a large multicultural and multi-faith observance at Westminster Abbey in London organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) on behalf of the Council of Commonwealth Societies. Commonwealth day is celebrated every year on the second Monday of March.

The RCS is an international educational charity founded in 1868. It endeavors to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people aged 18 and under by celebrating excellence and imagination. It is in this capacity that the RCS has been running the Commonwealth Essay Competition for 133 years, since 1883, encouraging thousands of young people every year to respond to global challenges through creative writing. In 2015 the competition was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honor of the Queen’s role as Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Essay Competition is organized in partnership with Cambridge University Press.

2016 Essay Competition

The Essay Competition (Junior and Senior) is open for entries, and submissions can be made until 1st May 2016. The Competition is open to all individuals who are nationals of, or are living in a Commonwealth country, aged under 18.

Entrants to the Competition are judged in two groups, junior (under 14 years, born after 1st May 2002) and senior (14-18 years born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002).They can submit an essay, poem, letter, folk tale or script.
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The competition offers young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to think about different aspects of the theme such as the significance of community, the importance of diversity and difference, the values of tolerance, respect and understanding. Furthermore it provides a global platform on which to make their voices heard, it encourages a healthy sense of competition among young people and a commitment to excellence and also provides an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, good writing skills and to express their views in a creative manner.

Recruiting Judges:
The RCS is looking to grow its international team of judges. To be eligible, candidates should inter-alia, be over 18 years old, have an interest in the Commonwealth and/or international affairs and be available from 16th May to 27th June (6 weeks). Teachers, university students and other persons interested in applying may refer to the RCS website:

In 2015, more than 600 schools in 49 Commonwealth countries and territories participated in the competition, which received almost 13,100 entries. Paraschos Cant, a 16 year old student at Pascal English School, Limassol was named Senior winner in the 2015 Essay Competition with his winning entry “An open letter to the worlds’ leaders”. Paraschos letter asks those with political experience and power to honor the hopes of the young. As part of the winning prize, Paraschos attended Winners week in London in Oct 2015, comprising a series of cultural and educational activities and was honored at an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace (

BEST WISHES for SUCCESS to all students entering the 2016 Essay Competition!

*Lella Hadjinestora BscEcon FCA,

Honorary Representative Royal Commonwealth Society