Our Work Literacy The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 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. Award Ceremony 2020 This year we were delighted to host the first virtual Awards Ceremony for the Winners and Runners-up of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) 2020, the world’s oldest international school writing competition. The theme of the 2020 Competition was 'Climate Action and the Commonwealth'. The virtual ceremony revealed the winners and featured readings of their award-winning pieces. The ceremony included notable literary figures, actors, and humanitarians from across the Commonwealth. Ambassadors of the Royal Commonwealth Society, David Walliams and Alexandra Burke, were joined by British actor and writer, Stephen Fry, and Bollywood actress, Kareena Kapoor, to read extracts from the winning pieces during the ceremony. The ceremony also featured highlights of workshops that the Winners and Runners-up had with the Society’s Ambassadors, Geri Horner (née Halliwell) and Lewis Pugh, to discuss their pieces on the theme of ‘Climate Action the Commonwealth.’ About the Competition 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. You can stay up to date with the Competition on Facebook.