2020 Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition for Commonwealth Young Writers
Deadline: June 30, 2020.
The Royal Commonwealth Society is pleased to announce that The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020 was launched in Christchurch, New Zealand by the Society’s Vice-Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on the theme ‘Climate Action and the Commonwealth’.
Building upon the 2019 theme of A Connected Commonwealth, this year’s topics draw on the increasing youth movement across the Commonwealth and the ongoing climate crisis. Young people are called upon to consider their position and power in bringing about change, and how the Commonwealth can be used as a tool for positive action. Our Final Panel of expert judges described entries to the competition in 2019 as ‘massively memorable’, ‘original’ and ‘very powerful’. We expect a similarly high calibre of writing for 2020.
For 2020, we want to hear from all young people, regardless of age, education or region. All stories are important and all voices matter.
Born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years of age)
- Imagine you are President of one of the Commonwealth’s 31 Small States and you have been invited to give a speech on Climate Change to other Commonwealth leaders, what will you say
- There is no Planet B: How will Climate Change affect you and your community?
- ‘We will never stop fighting for this planet’ – Greta Thunberg. How can young people make change happen?
- The destruction of the Oceans everyone’s concern.
Born on or after 1 July 2006 (under 14 years of age)
- Imagine you are Planet Earth, what would you say to Humans?
- A Blue Commonwealth: it is not too late to save our oceans. True or False?
- In 2019, students in more than 100 countries walked out of school to protest climate change. How can young people get their voices heard and make a difference?
- My planet, my place.
Entries will be disqualified if they fail to meet any of the following requirements:
- The competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of the Maldives and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries whose entries are submitted through their local RCS branch are also eligible.
- Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 30th June 2020. Senior entrants must be born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years) and Junior entrants must be born after 1 July 2006 (under 14 years of age).
- The maximum word counts are 1,500 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. References and foot notes are not included in the word count.
- Entries must be written in English.
- Only one entry per participant is allowed. 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.)
- Plagiarism is not accepted in the competition. Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism.
- Final documents should not include the entrants personal details including name, age, school or country. This information should be inputted to the system upon entry.
- 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 but does exclude group entries.
- By entering the competition, you agree that your personal details including full name, gender, email, school and essay may be sent to your local RCS branch and any Essay Competition partners.
- Essays can only be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) 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.
- All entries must be written on and relevant to one of the supplied topics in the relevant age category.
- All online entries must be submitted before 5pm (GMT) on 30th June 2020; any offline entries must arrive at the RCS offices in London by 30th May 2020 or they will not be counted.
1. 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.
2. 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 of educational and cultural events.