#Ad – Get published in the ‘No We Can’ anthology with NCS!

#Ad - I'm partnering with NCS in their No We Can short story competition, where you could get published! Let's take the world by storm.

Looking for the chance to be published in an anthology of inspiring and motivational stories? I’m partnering with NCS and am thrilled to share the opportunity to be published with you all!

(And in case the #ad in the title didn't give it away, yes, it is a paid partnership. Just to disclose that up front!)

What is NCS?

NCS offers 16 and 17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland the chance to spend four weeks meeting new people, getting stuck into challenges, learning some new skills, and – very importantly – celebrating everything they’ve achieved over the four weeks.

I spent a week away on a similar thing during sixth form, and it was both utterly terrifying and one of the best things I ever did for myself. It helped me to push the bounds of my comfort zone and really boosted my self-confidence.

The four weeks with NCS are focused around empowering young people and encouraging them to let their voice be heard and pursue a passion project.

(And if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I love a passion project. How do you think I wrote all those books?)

The summer that turns No You Can’t into No We Can.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of this message, and it is part of what drew me to this partnership. NCS’s website says, “Want to prove the naysayers wrong? So do we. Let’s come together and take the world by storm.” And, honestly, I think that’s such an inspiring message for teenagers – and exactly the sort of mood I channelled at that age, and now.

I hate being told what to do, but worse, I hate being told I can’t do something. Can’t study Physics, that’s for boys. Can’t study French and Spanish as well, that doesn’t go with Physics. Can’t publish books, you’re not good enough. (Admittedly, that last one was something I just believed myself, but still. It was another voice in my head I hated to listen to.)

But enough of that right now. If you want to read more about my own ‘No We Can’ story, you can find it on Wattpad right here.

So… how can you take part?

NCS are pulling together an anthology of ‘No We Can’ stories, fiction and non-fiction, from young people with something to say – and they’re looking for your stories. The twelve stories that make it into the anthology will be chosen by a panel of Wattpad writers and NCS. Plus, the winning stories will be shared on NCS’ social media (they have over 500k followers across their socials - Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter etc). See the full rules on how to enter below.

The anthology will be published and the winners will receive a copy. It will also be shared online by NCS ahead of the summer programme to help motivate and inspire 2020 attendees.

WHICH IS AMAZING! I am such a huge fan of this idea.


Alright, down to brass tacks. Here are the rules on how to enter the ‘No We Can’ story competition and win the chance to get published in the anthology:

     You must be aged 13-18 and based in England or Northern Ireland.
     Post your story on Wattpad or on your blog and share the link with NCS via email wattpad@ncstrust.org.uk – OR, simply email it as a Word document attachment.
     Stories must be no longer than 3,000 words and share a ‘No We Can’ moment, whether fictional or true to life!
     You have until 29 February 2020 to enter your story.

It’s as simple as all that! I’ll be on the judging panel and honestly, cannot wait to read your entries.

If you want to check out their full T&Cs and some FAQs, head to the NCS Wattpad profile (@NCS_official) for more info.

As a reminder, if you want to check out my 'No We Can' story, you can find it right here.

Some tips on how to write your own ‘No We Can’ story

Long-time followers of my blog will know I love to share some writing advice, so in honour of this campaign, here’s a few tips on how to write your own ‘No We Can’ story for the chance to be a part of the anthology!

1. If it’s fiction, get to know your main character
Whether it’s a mental brainstorm or jotting down a comprehensive character profile, spend some time thinking about your main character. What’s their background, what’s their motivation and what drives them, what’s their voice like, what really makes them tick and what has them doubled over in stitches from laughing too hard? I’m a firm believer that characters are the most important part of any story.

2. If it’s non-fiction, consider where your boundaries are
My story is non-fiction, and there are things in there that, at one point or other, I wouldn’t have been comfortable talking about online or sharing publicly before. There are things I like to keep private now, but I’ve also become more open over the last few years – talking about my mental health, for instance. It’s great to be open and raw and vulnerable, but it’s also okay to draw the line. Work out where that line is for you, and work with it.

3. The hardest part is getting started
Editing can be more difficult than writing, I find, but it’s so much easier to work with something on the page than nothing at all. That opening line can be easily rewritten, but don’t spend hours working it over in your head and not actually writing anything at all. Even after almost ten years of sharing my writing, the scariest part is often still just making a start!

Like I said – I am so excited to be involved with NCS for 2020, and this competition. Best of luck with your ‘No We Can’ story!

Make sure you check out their website and how you can join their four-week programme right here.

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