Finding your writing voice through books

3rd April 2019 | Blog

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is a fantastic opportunity for young people under the age of 18 in Commonwealth countries to find their voice as they write about their hopes for the future, opinions of the present and thoughts on the past.

We spoke to 19-year-old Charity from Nairobi  in Kenya who won a Gold Award in the 2018 competition. Here, she tells us about what motivated her to take part in the competition and how books helped her write the best possible entry.


Why did you choose to enter the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition?

I had so much free time as I had just finished high school and was looking for constructive things to engage in, so when my friend sent me the link to the competition, I thought “why not?”

How do you think books help your writing?

I love that books improve my grammar, vocabulary and diction. Without books, I wouldn’t have typed all this, because I wouldn’t be here.

I would not know half the things I do now, let alone be in possession of the crazy imagination I have housed in my head.

Books provide the perfect escape to different worlds – perform brain surgery, crack an unsolvable case, raise a household, live in tunnels, fly planes just to mention a few. This is pure bliss to me!

Do you have a favourite book?

A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford. A definite five star read. This is because the lessons that can be drawn from it can fill a whole other book! So beautifully written and detailed the book is! Emma Harte, the main character, possesses this will of steel that makes you keep the book by your bedside, even long after completion.

How do you think entering the competition has helped you?

I have a more positive outlook towards competitions and I am encouraged to try my luck in more.

Also, I believe in myself a little more since the essay competition. I’m still in disbelief about obtaining a gold award!

A big thank you to The Royal Commonwealth Society for giving this opportunity to numerous people like me, it means the world.

What would you say to someone like you who is considering entering the competition?

Just try your luck because, as long as you do not have a crystal ball before you that says you won’t make it, who knows?


Entries for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition close on 1st June. Find out more about the competition and how to enter using the links below.


Take part in the 2019 competition!

If you're under 18 and love writing, this is the competition for you


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