April 23, 2020
  • In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the International Churchill Society is launching a global competition inspired by the famous speeches of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister.
  • The competition – coinciding with the 75th anniversary of VE Day – asks participants to write or deliver an inspirational speech of hope in response to the current global challenges.
  • Entries will be judged by a panel including descendants of Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill and Celia Sandys and ICS trustee Andrew Roberts, historian, and author of international bestseller Churchill: Walking with Destiny. The judging panel also includes leading experts Erik Larson – author of The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, Candice Millard – author of Hero of the Empire: the Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill,and historian, broadcaster and President of the British Academy, Sir David Cannadine.
  • The winner will receive a $10,000 donation for a frontline health organization, hospice or hospital of their choosing.

As we face the most severe global challenge since the Second World War, the International Churchill Society is launching a worldwide competition. With the 75th anniversary of VE Day on the 8th May and 10th May being the 80th anniversary of Churchill becoming Prime Minister, the Society is asking people to “Inspire like Churchill” and challenging them to mobilise the English language to stir hope and unity in the face of COVID-19.

What is the competition?

We are asking participants to submit either:

  • A speech of no more than 300 written words or
  • A video of no longer than 60 seconds

The speech should inspire hope, unity and determination in the manner of Winston Churchill and should address today’s unique global challenges.

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Entries will initially be shortlisted by a working group at The International Churchill Society and the winners will be selected by a panel including Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of Churchill, Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Churchill and renowned historians and authors Sir David Cannadine, Erik Larson, Candice Millard and Andrew Roberts.

The winner will earn $10,000 for a frontline health organization, hospice, hospital or medical related non-profit of their choosing. There is a second prize of $2,500 and two third prizes of $1,250. In addition, the first prize winner and their guest will be entitled to a trip to an International Churchill Society event in New York or London when appropriate to travel.

Why hold such a competition?

The Coronavirus is a global threat to our social and economic systems and the daily rhythms of our lives. The closest recent historical analogy is the Second World War. It is therefore no surprise that at this time of uncertainty and anxiety, many people are looking for examples of hope and resilience from the past. Few encapsulate determined and inspirational leadership in crisis as Sir Winston Churchill.

Randolph Churchill commented: “At the height of the Battle of Britain, my great-grandfather said of the aircrew defending the nation, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ This same sense of gratitude is reflected in today’s feelings towards our medical professionals. It’s fitting therefore that the International Churchill Society has launched this competition around the 75th anniversary of VE Day and I hope that the speeches it produces provide inspiration around the world in such difficult times.”

How do people enter?

Anyone can enter by emailing a document of up to 300 words or uploading a video of no longer than 60 seconds and no larger than 2MB to our website. The competition is open to anyone of all ages, anywhere in the world, whether you are a history enthusiast, a teacher looking for a way to inspire your class remotely or a parent trying to home school your children.

Please help us reach as many people as possible by sharing the competition on social media using #ThinkChurchill. Entries will also be shared online and at events in London and New York.

For more information including terms and conditions and to submit an entry go to this page. The closing date for submissions is 12 noon [Eastern Standard Time] Sunday 30 May 2020.

The winners will be announced Tuesday 30 June 2020 via the competition website.




You can find out more by contacting:

Allen Packwood in the UK on [email protected]  / 00447784 581 684 or alternatively Dan Masser / [email protected] / 00447951 098 335, Johanna Pemberton / [email protected] / 00447956 027 059

In the US, contact David Freeman of the International Churchill Society on  [email protected] / 001 714-507-9316 or Tom Pagano at the American National Churchill Museum / [email protected] / 1-314-602-7549

About International Churchill Society

The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill’s death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.

To become a member of the Society, please go to this page.

The Society’s many activities are conducted through a wide range of publications and programs. Membership in the Society includes our award-winning quarterly Journal of Winston Churchill, Finest Hour (available in both print and digital editions), along with our monthly email newsletter Churchill Bulletin and access to premium content on our website. Members also enjoy discounted rates at Churchill sites in the United Kingdom and the United States, at our international conferences and on books by and about Churchill.

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