Young writers in Zambia

Write it out!

4th April 2018 | Blog

Submissions for the annual Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition close on 1st June –  in less than two months time!

This writing competition offers all young people in the Commonwealth aged 18 and under the chance to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present and thoughts on the past through writing. It is a great way for talented young writers you work with to develop their skills and build their confidence.


A writer in Cameroon


This year, organisers of the competition are particularly keen to hear from talented young African writers from a variety of backgrounds.

We spoke to 19-year-old Zambian student Esther Mugalaba, a 2016 runner up, who told us why taking part in the competition is such a worthwhile thing to do:

Esther, one of the 2016 runners up

“To quote T-Nehisi Coates,

The best part of writing is not the communication of knowledge to other people but the acquisition and synthesizing of knowledge for oneself.

Writing, especially competitively, pushes you to dig for information on subjects that you may have otherwise never thought to look out for on your own. This is great because as part of the process, you begin to form valid opinions on so many different things and adopt well-informed views of the world, the importance of which, cannot be overemphasied.

If you have heard about the competition and have thought that you could never write anything good enough to be appreciated or noticed, chances are you are grossly underestimating yourself.

Write it out. Write that poem, write that essay, write that article. Amazing things just may come of it.

You might discover a talent or a passion that will forever define who you are and what your contribution to this world is.”


We hope that you and the young people you work with are inspired to take part. Find out more about the competition and to take part, use the links below.

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