The Queen's Commonwealth
Essay Competition

2018 Competition: 'Towards a Common Future'

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world's oldest schools’ international writing programme, run by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, the competition receives entries from thousands of young people across the Commonwealth, in which they express their thoughts on the past, opinions of the present and hopes for the future. The competition is a highly regarded and popular international education project, run in partnership with CLANED. Past winners include Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and writers Elspeth Huxley and Mei Fong. For 2017, the competition will explore A Commonwealth for Peace.

Building upon the 2017 theme of 'A Commonwealth for Peace', this year’s theme 'Towards a Common Future' and its topics ask young writers to explore how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

Download the 2018 Flyer

The Royal Commonwealth Society has recently opened the competition to young people in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden who enter the competition through the RCS Nordic-Baltic Hub. 

The competition is open until 1 June 2018. All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners' Week in October/November, a week-long series of educational and cultural events.

More details, including topics, terms and conditions, and frequently asked questions can be found on the competition website

A briefing note for schools and other educational establishments are available here


1. Download and complete in block capitals an Entry Form 

2. Scan and send completed form along with your work to by 1 June 2018

If you require any help, please contact

inaugural nordic-baltic judging panel

  • Minna Ekblom, Leadership coach 
  • Harri Jaskari MP, Member of Finnish Parliament
  • Siri Kolu, Finnish Children’s Author 
  • Kaj Kunnas, Finnish sports journalist
  • Elina Lepomäki MP, Member of Finnish Parliament 
  • Arto Nyberg, Finnish TV-journalist 
  • HE Blanche Olbery, Ambassador of Malaysia to Finland
  • Nasima Razmyar, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki
  • Markus Selin, Finnish Film Producer
  • Iiro Seppänen, Finnish film maker
  • HE Carmen Smidt, Ambassador of South Africa to Finland
  • Francis Uy, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada in Finland


The RCS has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth. We endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people by celebrating excellence and imagination. In 2015, the contest was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s role as both Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society.