The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools, established in 1883. With thousands of young people taking part each year, it is an important way to recognise achievement, elevate youth voices and develop key skills through creative writing.

For 2021 the Competition theme is Community in the Commonwealth. With the global spread of COVID-19, we’ve seen the lives of many Commonwealth citizens affected. However, through adversity, societies came together and stories of growth, community and hope continue to emerge. View the topics for 2021.

Each year, aspiring young writers are asked to submit their pieces in response to a theme. Recent themes have included Climate Action in the Commonwealth (2020), A Connected Commonwealth (2019), Towards a Common Future (2018), A Commonwealth for Peace (2017) and ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’ (2016); drawing out innovative ideas for positive change and encouraging entrants to consider new perspectives. The theme is rooted in Commonwealth values, providing an interesting introduction to the network and allowing young people to explore their own connection to the Commonwealth, whilst fostering an empathetic and open-minded world view.

Maximum word counts:

Senior: 1500 words

Junior: 750 words

Deadline for entries, 30th June 2021, 23:59.

Further essential information, including full submission guidelines can be found at the Royal Commonwealth Society’s website.