Each year, The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition receives thousands of entries from across the Commonwealth and relies on a team of volunteers to read and judge them.
One of the greatest strengths of this Competition is that each young person’s writing is individually read and appreciated by an adult somewhere in the Commonwealth, who might otherwise never hear their experience.

Judges come from a wide variety of backgrounds and offer a diverse range of skills and experience. All judges share the Society’s commitment to nurturing the creative talents of young people and wish to actively participate in increasing youth dialogue in the Commonwealth. They may also have a particular interest in the theme, the English language, creative writing or youth work. The Royal Commonwealth Society is grateful for the time, dedication and expertise of these judges, without whom it would not be possible to run such a successful and unique competition.

In return for their time, judges have the satisfaction of making a vital contribution to an important pan-Commonwealth youth programme. This is an opportunity to read written pieces from students from across the Commonwealth and gain unrivalled experience and skills. In addition to this, all judges receive a personalised certificate of recognition of their participation, subscription to the e-newsletter, and invitations to select RCS events.

Final Panel Judging

Building on the success of the 2018 Final Panel Judging, the Society was delighted to convene a panel of industry experts, brought
together to make the final decisions on Senior and Junior Winners and Runners-Up. Drawn from a range of creative writing industries including publishing, screenwriting, poetry and journalism, the judges spent a day at Buckingham Palace to read, judge and select our four winning pieces.

Judges commented on the maturity shown by many of the young writers, with entries described as ‘intelligent’, ‘impassioned’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘articulate’ and ‘beautifully written’.

The Society is grateful to HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Clarence House and Buckingham Palace for hosting the Final Panel.

Become a Judge