Over 12,300 young people from across the Commonwealth entered the Competition - congratulations to all! This year’s theme invited young people to reflect on the topic of ‘A Commonwealth for Peace’. Judges were impressed by the diverse entries and described the pieces as ‘creative’, ‘hopeful’ and ‘passionate’.
Annika Turon-Semmens, Hiya Chowdhury, Ariadna Sullivan and Ry Galloway – Winners and Runners-up of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017.
In recognition of their outstanding achievement, they visited London in November, took part in a week of educational and cultural events and were presented with their certificates by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at an Awards Ceremony which took place at Buckingham Palace on 21st November.
Meet the winners below:
Senior Winner: Annika Turon-Semmens, Adelaide, Australia
Annika, wrote a vivid short story titled ‘Human Nature’ exploring the personal conflict of her character Willem Royle, who lives a trouble life in a world of peace. Annika entered the competition as a student of Pembroke Middle School, is grateful for the opportunity the school provided and honoured to be named the Senior Winner. She enjoys reading, painting, and watching old films, and dreams of travelling the world. Read Annika's entry.
Junior Winner: Ariadna Sullivan, British Colombia, Canada
Ariadna’s thoughtful poem, when read backwards, invites the reader to discover new meanings. Within this creative structure Ariadna presents a hopeful vision of a toolbox for peace. Ariadna is a student at Veritas Catholic School in Terrace, British Columbia, where she is a keen Maths and English student and dreams of attending Cambridge University. Ariadna spends her free time reading, writing, biking and taking care of her pets. She also enjoys playing the piano, the ukulele, and the clarinet. Read Ariadna's entry.
Senior Runner-up: Hiya Chowdhury, Uttar Pradesh, India
Hiya’s vibrant story ‘The Smallest of Things’ brings to life the human experience of partition. Hiya has sensitively captured local and family life which carries on while tensions simmer and peace hangs in the balance. Hiya is pleased to be able to contribute her voice on an issue which matters immensely to her. She lives in New Delhi, India, and is a student at Springdales School. Hiya enjoys reading, singing, listening to music, and spending time with her dog, Naina. Read Hiya's entry.
Junior Runner-up: Ry Galloway, London, United Kingdom
Ry’s short poem beautifully captures her peaceful place with vivid descriptions that bring to life a place of inner peace. Ry is a student at Alleyns Junior School in South London, and lives with her parents, her younger brother Ludo, and her two cats Tibby and Bambo. She enjoys drawing, acting, science experiments, and sports such as trampolining. Ry also loves fashion and collecting everything to do with pineapples. Read Ry's entry.
Disclaimer: The views of the above essays are not necessarily shared or endorsed by The Royal Commonwealth Society or Cambridge University Press.