Every year, the Commonwealth Essay Competition inspires thousands of young writers from all over the world to participate. Coordinated by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, it is the world’s oldest and largest international writing competition for students. Past winners include Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and Elspeth Huxley.

The competition is free to enter and in 2012 over one thousand young writers from 245 schools in 38 countries across the commonwealth received remuneration for their entry. For 2013, the Competition will be held in partnership with the Cambridge University Press, whose support will enable the engagement of even more young writers across the Commonwealth. The Competition celebrates and nurtures the creative talents of young people across the Commonwealth, providing a platform for students to compete with their peers in each of the 54 nations which make up this unique association. Entrants are judged in two age groups, the Junior Category which is for students under 14 years and the Senior Category which is for students 14 to 18 years.

For the juniors who were born after May 1st 1999 five choices are granted for your writing:

1. When has hard work paid off for you?

2. Creative thinking saved the day

3. Tell us about a moment of opportunity which changed the life of your family, community, country, continent or the entire planet

4. Is change a good thing?

5. Opportunities galore!

Seniors born between 2nd May 1994 and 1st May 1999 you have 5 themes to choose from for your writing.

1. A funding agency has asked you to make a pitch for an idea involving schools that would benefit your community.

2. “I knew this was my moment.”

3. Discuss one or more examples of social and/or environmental development where enterprise play, or could play, a key role in changing the way people live.

4. “How enterprising!” a voice said as I closed the door behind me.

5. Are we too risk-conscious these days?

A bonus topic is open to all entrants which is “to boldly go.”

Entrants are encouraged to be creative in their response. Writings can be submitted in a number of formats, for example: poem, letter, article, story or essay.

The closing date to submit your writing is May 1st 2013. Results will be announced in the autumn of next year, when a winner in the Junior and Senior categories is selected along with a Runner Up. At the announcement, judges will present a number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards to the various winners.

Anyone interested to learn more about this competition can visit the website at www.thercs.org. Good luck to all participants.