Competition FAQ2018-01-29T13:18:55+00:00


The Competition closes at midnight on Friday 16 March.

Shortlisted finalists will be announced on Thursday 22 March 2018 via the Commonwealth Voices website and Twitter account.

The Live Finals will take place at the Lancashire Civic Leaders’ Commonwealth Celebration Event on Wednesday 18 April 2018.

Spoken Word is a broad term for poetry intended for performance. Spoken Word Performance Poetry can contain beatbox, rap, MC-ing, polyvocal (more than one voice at a time), acapella (singing without musical accompaniment) as well as poetry and spoken word.

The only criteria we set for the competition is that:

  • Poems can be no longer than 3 minutes
  • They must be filmed in landscape format
  • They must be delivered by the student(s) that wrote the poem
  • Recorded/instrumental music is not permitted

Judges will assess entries on the basis of:

  • Originality
  • Clarity of communication
  • Creativity
  • Performance

Whilst many students will wish to learn their poetry by heart, we understand that not every student will be able to do this.  Students are allowed to use written prompts/notes within their video entries and the live finals.

Yes. Commonwealth Voices is open to all maintained and independent schools in the county of Lancashire (Years 7-11 entrants only).

Unfortunately, Commonwealth Voices is a school led competition. Entries can only be submitted by schools located within the county of Lancashire. Why not contact your local authority to find out about Commonwealth 2018 activities in your area?

This is a school competition.  Student entries must be made via schools. However, why not record your Spoken Word Performance Poetry at home or in an after-school club and ask a teacher if they will submit your entry? Don’t forget, winning entries also receive a school cash prize so your school should support your entry.

Videos should be uploaded to YouTube and the link sent to us via the Submission Form.  If you are struggling to upload your videos, please contact our support team.  We will do everything we can to ensure your students are able to enter Commonwealth Voices.

Call us on 0330 313 9889 or email

Yes! We encourage each school to hold their own internal competition to select their entrants for the county-wide Commonwealth Voices Competition. Holding a school-level competition not only generates a buzz about the competition, but also plays an important role in educating our young people about the role of the Commonwealth.