Essay Compettition

» Competition 2018 closed. Next competition starts this autumn. «

Your gateway to St. Gallen, and much more.

Compete for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award and qualify for participation as a «Leader of Tomorrow» in the world’s premier opportunity for intergenerational debates: The St. Gallen Symposium. 

  • Join the debate with 600 top global leaders and decision makers
  • Share your thoughts, ideas and visions with the global elite
  • Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service provided
  • Meet 200 of the world’s brightest young minds
  • CHF 20,000 prize money shared by the three winners
  • Small and intimate gatherings with world leaders, exclusively for the Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Broad media coverage
  • Become member of a truly unique and strong global community

Qualify with an excellent essay.

We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. Be bold, unconventional, and distinctive on the competition question, which will be announced in autumn 2018 for the next competition.

The following criteria must be met:

 FormEssay (max. 2,100 words, excl. bibliography & footnotes)
 LanguageEnglish
 Deadline1 February 2019, 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)
 AnonymityYour name must not be mentioned anywhere in the contribution file
 IndividualityIndividual work expected, no group work allowed. The essay must be written exclusively for this contest. The idea must be the author's own. 
 CitationAll sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay. All contributions will be tested for plagiarism. 

Check your eligibility and prepare documents.

To be eligible, you must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate program (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university
  • Born in 1989 or later

Make sure you can provide the following documents:

  • Copy of passport or other identification (in English for non-Roman languages)
  • Confirmation of matriculation/enrolment from your university which proves your enrollment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2018 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

Impress the Jury. 

All contributions will be evaluated equally according to a specific set of criteria by an independent jury composed of professors, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs. The authors of the best 100 contributions qualify as Leaders of Tomorrow and will be invited by the ISC to the next St. Gallen Symposium. The very best competitors will have the chance to present and discuss their ideas on the symposium's big stage and also in other conferencing formats. The award will be bestowed to the three best competitors, the selection will be based upon the quality of the essays only. 

Pre-register for the next competition. 

Pre-register for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2019 in order to receive regular updates on the next symposium, the start of the competition, the competition question, and any other details helping you to make your application a success.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. The competition is used by individuals and teachers to build confidence, develop writing skills, support creativity and encourage critical thinking, using literacy to empower young people to become global citizens.

All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from both the Senior and Junior categories will be invited to attend Winners' Week in London. Past winners include author Elspeth Huxley, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mei Fong, and the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.

Towards a Common Future

Building upon the 2017 theme of 'A Commonwealth for Peace', this year’s theme 'Towards a Common Future' and its topicsask 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
Topics

Senior Category
Born between 2nd June 1999 and 31st May 2004 (14-18 years of age)

  1. The road to a safer future.
  2. How does education contribute to a fairer future? 
  3. ‘Healthy, Wealthy, Happy, and Free’: is one more important than the others?
  4. Future generations have rights too, which must be defended. Discuss. 

Junior Category
Born after 31st May 2004 (under 14 years of age)

  1. What does a 'safer future' mean to you and your community? 
  2. Write a recipe for a common future: what ingredients will you need? What is the best method for making it? What will it look like?
  3. ‘A Day in the Life’. Imagine you are your country’s Head of Government for the day: how will you build a better future for young people?
  4. Our Common Earth.

Judges described entries to the competition in 2017 as ‘emotive’ ‘hauntingly assuring’ ’striking’ and as having ‘powerful narratives’, that ‘this letter should be read by everyone’. We expect a similiarly high calibre of writing for 2018.

The competition is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under until 1 June 2018. All entrants 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-long series of educational and cultural events. For more information about the competition, please visit Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t forget to stay in touch with the RCS by signing up to our newsletter.

History of the Essay Competition

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. Run by the RCS since 1883, this international schools’ writing contest – the world's oldest – is a highly regarded and popular international education project.

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.

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