Building on the 2018 theme of Towards a Common Future, this year’s topics ask young writers to explore the shared values, interests and experiences across the network, and how they can use this to make positive change. It calls on young people to consider the potential of the Commonwealth in strengthening the cast and varied links between citizens.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall announced the 2019 theme ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, which calls upon young people to consider how they can work to use cultural, technological and environmental connections for positive change across the Commonwealth. The Competition is an opportunity for all young Commonwealth citizens and residents, regardless of region, education or background, to share ideas, celebrate their story and have their voice heard – all whilst developing key skills.
For 2019, they want to hear from all young people, regardless of schooling, education or region. All stories and voices are important.
- SENIOR CATEGORY: Born between 2 June 2000 and 1 June 2005 (14-18 years of age)
- You are the most optimistic, connected generation the world has ever known.’ HRH The Duke of Sussex. How can you use Commonwealth connections for positive change?
- Connected by the oceans; can we work together to protect the environment?
- ‘We are all now connected by the Internet’ – Stephen Hawking. What does the future hold for humankind?
- Family, Community, Nation, Commonwealth. What are the opportunities for shared, sustainable growth?
- JUNIOR CATEGORY: Born on or after 2 June 2005 (under 14 years of age)
- My cultural connections.
- An overseas visitor is coming to your town for the first time. How would you connect with them?
- A place I feel connected to.
- The Commonwealth connects people across borders – what can we learn from our neighbours?
Judges described entries to the competition in 2018 as ‘‘fantastically imaginative’, ‘hopeful’, ‘quite exceptional’ and ‘passionate’. They expect a similarly high calibre of writing for 2019.
This unique and highly regarded competition aims to challenge young people’s thinking and the means by which they can express their views, using creative forms of writing such as essays, poems, stories or scripts. Since 2010, the Competition has received more than 87,000 entries including almost 12,000 entries in 2018, from 600 schools across almost every Commonwealth nation. Entries are judged by 150 pan-Commonwealth volunteers and winners are selected by an expert panel, including poets, publishers, scriptwriters and journalists.
The Competition has been managed by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883 and will be open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under, until 1 June 2019. A Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week-long series of educational and cultural events, typically including an Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
- 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.
- 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 they are not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced in August 2019. Past prizes have included:
- 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
- RCS regional and branch offices often hold ceremonies or offer prizes. Please contact your nearest RCS branch after the competition closes on 1 June 2018, to inquire about any activities planned.
The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth Countries aged 18 and underEligible Regions: Commonwealth Countries
- Online Submission:
- The Royal Commonwealth Society is building a new online platform that will be much easier to use and accessible on all devices, but it’s not quite ready yet.
- They are encouraging young people to begin writing their pieces and will open the new platform for submissions in early 2019.
- Please note: They do not accept essays sent by email.
- Offline Submission (Post): (Check the How to Enter section in the official website for more details)
- Offline submissions are very difficult to process and can mean that your entry arrives after the Competition closing date. They will only accept an offline entry where the person submitting has no access to internet and is unable to submit online.
- If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete an entry form (Can be found in the official website) in block capitals and attach it to the front of your essay. Entries should be sent to your nearest postal hub, details of which are listed below.
- Please note that for postal entries, your essay must be received by 1 May 2019 in order to be eligible. They, therefore, suggest that you send your essay with plenty of time for delivery, as essays received by a postal hub after 1 May will not be considered in the competition.
- Check the official website for posting address
Application Deadline: June 1, 2019Application ClosedOfficial link