The overarching theme for 2016 is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, which is also the 2016 Commonwealth Year theme, and a topical theme for today’s youth. Both Senior and Junior topics give young people the opportunity to think about aspects of the theme such as: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today. The topics are a chance to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.
Open to all Commonwealth citizens aged under 18, the essay competition offers young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make their voices heard on a global platform, to engage with issues important to them and to express their aspirations for the future. Each year, participants demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important Commonwealth and global issues from a young person’s perspective and to showcase their critical and creative skills.
Born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years)
Imagine inviting a stranger to your country. How would you welcome them?
My ideal community.
Are we really so different?
Tales of an ‘insider/outsider’.
Born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18 years)
Let them in.
How can you balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the crowd?
The wealth we have in common.
Is it possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society?
Entries should be submitted online for the 2016 competition. However, offline submissions will be accepted where secure internet connection is an issue. Click here to find out details.
Prizes have traditionally been awarded only to the first prize winners in the Senior and Junior categories and also vary year by year. This means we are not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced in September 2016. Past prizes have included certificates, resources for winner’s school, visits to Cambridge University, a trip to London and a week of activities, work experience at international organisations, and having your entry featured in worldwide media. RCS regional and branch offices often hold ceremonies or offer prizes.
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