1. The competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories, as well as residents of Hong Kong, Ireland and Zimbabwe. Residents of non-Commonwealth countries where there is an operating RCS branch or affiliated/partner organisation are also eligible to enter; however, entries must be submitted via the local RCS branch or affiliated/partner organisation.

  2. Entries must be written in English. 

  3. Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 30 June 2021. Senior entrants must be born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2007 (14-18 years) and Junior entrants must be born after 1 July 2007 (under 14 years of age).

  4. The maximum word counts are 1,500 words for Senior entries and 750 words for Junior There is no minimum word count. These word limits apply to all topics and all formats (essay, poem, letter, etc). Exceeding the word count will result in automatic disqualification. References and foot notes are not included in the word count.

  5. Only one entry per participant will be accepted. Please carefully check and edit your writing before submitting the final copy, and also ensure that all supplementary information is filled in correctly (name, contact details, etc.)

  6. Uploaded entries should not include the entrant’s personal details (e.g. name, age, school, etc.). This information should be entered during the submission process.

  7. Entrants with Special Educational Needs: Where the entrant’s age does not directly reflect their curricular learning stage, submissions can be made to whichever competition category correlates with their learning stage. Such submissions must be made by a suitability qualified adult (e.g. teacher, teaching assistant, support worker, etc.), who must take the following steps (This information is required for administrative purposes only and will not be shared with judges): 
    1. Submit entry, selecting the appropriate category for the entrant’s curricular learning stage
    2. Once entry is submitted, email [email protected] with the following details:
    • Entrant’s full name & unique identification number
    • Name of school
    • Details of the submitting adult (if not submitted as group submission)
    • Details of entrant’s curricular learning stage.

     

  8. Plagiarism is not accepted in the competition. Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism.

  9. The final copy submitted for the competition must be the entrant's own work, and cannot be excessively corrected or improved by another person. This does not rule out input or assistance from others but does exclude group entries.  

  10. By entering the competition, you agree that your personal details (e.g. full name, contact details, school, entry, etc.) will be retained by the Royal Commonwealth Society in line with its Privacy Policy and may be shared with Royal Commonwealth Society partners for the purpose of delivering the competition, and its other charitable purposes. See our Privacy Policy for more information. Please note: QCEC Winners and Runners-up will have their full names, schools, entries and photographs displayed on the RCS website and social media channels.

  11. Essays can only be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or in PDF format (.pdf). The online platform does not accept Google Docs (.gdoc), Pages documents (.pages) or other word processor formats. If we are unable to find or open your essay file (either through an incorrect format or upload error), your entry may not be counted in the competition.

  12. All entries must be written on, and relevant to, one of the listed topics in the relevant age category.

  13. All online entries must be submitted before 23:59 BST on 30th June 2021; any offline entries must arrive at the Royal Commonwealth Society office in London by 30th June 2021 or they will not be counted.

  14. All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have for the pieces they submit, but by entering The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, each contestant consents to the use of his/her/their name and/or pieces, or parts thereof, in any advertisements, educational materials, corpus research, media and promotional materials or fundraising activities carried out or produced by the Royal Commonwealth Society, and its authorised partners, without further notice or compensation. The Royal Commonwealth Society can publish or decline to publish, use or decline to use, any submitted pieces at the Royal Commonwealth Society's sole discretion.

  15. The RCS retains the right to change the prize of the competition if circumstances make this necessary. 

  16. The RCS will only be able to publish on our website and in our literature content that is appropriate for a wide and diverse audience, in line with our own policies. Entrants are encouraged to consider this in relation to their use of language when entering the competition. 

  17. The RCS retains the right to alter, amend and/or update these terms and conditions at any point in time.

Important Reminder

All certificates are generated online and issued electronically by the RCS as we do not send any certificates in the post. Certificates will only be issued once judging is complete in September 2021.

Having trouble submitting your essay? Contact [email protected]