An opportunity for young Commonwealth citizens to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences on key global issues and have their hard work and achievement celebrated internationally.

We are pleased to announce that The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020 was launched in Christchurch, New Zealand by our Vice-Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on the theme 'Climate Action and the Commonwealth'.

Each year, aspiring young writers are asked to submit their pieces in response to a theme. Recent themes have included 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.

The Society has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth and we endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity by celebrating excellence and imagination. The Competition invites all young Commonwealth citizens and residents, regardless of region, education or background, to share ideas, celebrate their story and have their voice heard. Through partnerships with Book Aid International, Worldreader and the National Literacy Trust, the Society is working to increase access to this opportunity for a wider range of young people.

All entrants and all participating schools 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. For more information about the competition, please see Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

2020 Competition - Climate Action and the Commonwealth

The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition is delighted to welcome Moomin Characters Ltd. as principal sponsor of the programme for 2020. The Moomins, created by the Finnish artist Tove Jansson, are a family of friendly, brave trolls who live an adventurous life in the idyllic and peaceful Moomin valley in harmony with nature. The original Moomin books have been translated into more than 50 languages and are much loved across the Commonwealth and beyond. 

Senior Category

Born between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years of age)

  1. 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 leaders. what will you say? 
  2. There is no Planet B: How will climate change affect you and your community? 
  3. 'We will never stop fighting for this planet' - Greta Thunberg. How can young people make change happen? 
  4. The destruction of the oceans is everyone's concern. 

Junior Category 

Born on or after 1 July 2006 (under 14 years of age)

  1. Imagine you are Planet Earth, what would you say to humans?
  2. A Blue Commonwealth: it is not too late to save our oceans. True or false? 
  3. 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? 
  4. My planet, my place. 

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