Important update: Voting is now CLOSED in the Sunday National Yessay competition – but you can still browse the 20 shortlisted Yessays at your leisure.


WE'RE looking to crown a champion in our Sunday National Yessay competition – and as well as our judging panel, we thought it worthwhile getting subscribers involved too.

We asked our readers to answer the question "Why should Scotland be independent?" in 1600-2200 word essays. The intended reader is an undecided voter.

We received more than 100 entries and worked that down to a shortlist of 20, which, while crucial for judging purposes, is not enough to do justice to the incredible submissions we received.

(We'd encourage Unionist papers to run a competition on "Why should Scotland stay in the Union?" – we'd love to compare the entries.)

In some cases, the essays were fantastically written and well argued, but not quite what the judges were looking for in the specific terms of this contest – perhaps more about the Yes movement itself than targeting an undecided voter.

This means we're brainstorming how we can best highlight as many of the essays as possible, because we think they'll be of use to our readers and Yes groups.

However... we do have a contest to sort out.

As well as our judging panel of Sunday National editor Roxanne Sorooshian, columnist Lesley Riddoch and University of Glasgow professor of Scottish literature Alan Riach, we thought it'd be worth giving our readers a say too.

In order to minimise the impact of Unionist interference and casting multiple votes, we've put this article behind our paywall to be visible to subscribers only – and so, we ask that you use the email address under which you subscribe to The National to cast your vote below.

You can read our shortlist of 20 essays at

After reading through them, select your top Yessay and tell us which that is through the voting form available below to help us decide on a winner. The votes cast in this form will, in effect, act as a fourth judge.

Voting will shut at 11.59pm on Sunday, August 1.

Thank you!