The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017

Jersey students enjoyed great success in The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, winning six gold, seven silver and 23 bronze awards.

Prizes, of gift vouchers were presented by the His Excellency at a ceremony at the Town Hall. He also presented the Jersey Award Cup for the best entry by a Jersey student, which was won by Juliette Bale, a pupil of St Michael’s School.

She read her essay at the event which was also attended by Lady Dalton, members of the writers’ families and representatives of their schools and of sponsors Langham Hall Fund Management (Jersey) Ltd.

RCS Jersey branch secretary Dr Susan Taylor said it was a considerable achievement for Jersey students and schools to gain 36 awards in the competition, the theme for which was A Commonwealth for Peace.

Nearly 150 Jersey students submitted essays, with students from St Michael’s Preparatory School gaining 12 awards (three gold, silver and six bronze); Jersey College for Girls students winning ten awards (two silver and eight bronze); Jersey College Prep girls got eight awards (one gold, one silver and six bronze); Mont Nicolle School pupils, four awards (one gold and three bronze); and Grainville students, two awards (one gold and one silver).

Michael Talibard, a retired English teacher, judged the six gold award-winning entries and decided to give the Award Cup to Juliette.

The competition is the oldest and largest youth writing contest in the world and last year’s attracted more than 12,300 entries from 44 Commonwealth countries, about 25 per cent of which won an award.

There are two age categories, the junior category for school pupils aged under 14 years and the senior category for those aged between 14 and 18 years. Entries can be submitted as poems, letters, folk tales, scripts or essays.

Details of this year’s competition have recently been sent out to all schools.


  • Gold: Juliette Bale (junior gold award and Jersey Award cup), Sophie Barraclough, Thomas Frankland, Nathaniel Gourlay, Dylan Green and Jack Shuttleworth.
  • Silver: George Stabler, Abigail Chambers, Anna Edelenbos, Nicol Gaynor, William Brasher , Olivia Labesse, Tom Ruane
  • Bronze: Grace Voisin, Isobel Baglin, Alice Le Chevalier, Mia Ballands, Megan Duffin, Freya Gambles, Isabella Grainger, Hannah Owens, Emma Pallent, Minna Pemberton, Lola Davey, Estelle Joynt, Ava Le Cornu, Lorenza Nimmo, Noah Arnett, Tess Buckholz, Kaya Smith, Sophia Brunwin, Maxwell Cameron, Annabelle Harper, Zara Holt, Charlie Hunter, Samuya Nair

JEP article by Sue Le Ruez and photograph Rob Currie, JEP