Commonwealth Essay Competition 2014 first stage of the judging process.jpgAs in previous years, the 2014 Commonwealth Essay Competition run by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) has been a great success. Over 8,000 young people have participated in the world’s oldest and largest schools’ international writing competition this year. The chosen theme for this year was ‘Team Commonwealth’, directly linked to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which take place this July. As athletes gather in Glasgow, team spirit will be on display both within and between nations. Young writers were encouraged to explore this theme in fun, academic, witty and most of all creative ways.

This year, the Commonwealth Essay Competition received entries from over 50 countries. Established in 1883, the competition has become a well-established and popular education project for young people and it is highly regarded throughout the Commonwealth. With over 300 schools participating from around the world, this year’s submissions have covered diverse views on the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and unity. Pupils from a very young age up to teenagers of 18-years-old submitted their entries before the deadline on the 1st of May.

On the 2nd of June the judging process, comprising two stages, commenced. We are very grateful to the fifty-six judges who have been recruited from around the Commonwealth and are giving their time voluntarily to judge the thousands of entries we received. Through an online process they have been allocated this year’s junior and senior entries and are working diligently to send forth the best essays to the final panel. At the end of August five judges for each category will meet at the RCS office in central London for the final panel judging sessions. After discussing the essays selected during the first stage of the judging process they will select the top prize winners for this year’s Essay Competition.

We are delighted to have the on-going support of Cambridge University Press, as sponsors of the Competition. It is with great pleasure that we are welcoming Vicki Wienand as the new chair of the judging panel, taking over this key role from Charles Kemp, who had served for many years.

The results of the Commonwealth Essay Competition 2014 will be announced in early September and an award ceremony will be organised in November. The RCS thanks all who participated in this year’s Essay Competition and wishes each applicant who submitted an essay the best of luck!