YOU still have the chance to enter the Sunday National's Yessay competition – and you'll both be helping the campaign to win independence and putting yourself in contention for a prize of 500 pounds.

We aren't waiting for a starting gun to begin our bid to help win over undecided voters ahead of indyref2, and that's why we launched our essay competition.

If you’d like to enter and help put in place the resources that can help us secure a Yes vote that’s more needed than ever, all the information you need is below.

With a deadlight of midnight on Sunday, there's still time to start your entry from scratch, check it over and submit!

The question we’re asking is: “Why should Scotland be independent?”

The audience we want your essay to be written for is an undecided voter living in Scotland. The word count is between 1600-2200 words inclusive – no more and no less, please!

The National: Vector illustration of a fountain pen on a blue background with white letters below it..

The closing date for entries is 11:59pm on July 11.

In order to submit your essay, email it to with “Yessay” in the subject box. You can also use that email or for any questions or queries.

We’re looking for originality and persuasiveness in the writing, though the points you make may not be original, as it will be important to communicate the arguments the Yes movement knows so well.

We will be fact-checking the submissions, but you are not required to include footnotes – unless you’d like to save us some time! If so, these will not count towards the word count.

Essay titles are not required.

The National’s team will select a longlist of up to 20 essays to go before our judging panel. The editor’s decision on those 20 will be final.

Subscribers to The National will be able to read those top 20 entries on our website.

The winner will be published on the front page of our Seven Days broadsheet pull-out and receive £500.

A shortlist of five entries will be selected from entrants under the age of 21 (as of July 11). The best of those essays as decided by our judging process will net a £250 prize for the author and a spot in the Sunday National. These entries will also be eligible for entry on to the main, £500 contest.

Anyone under the age of 18 entering must have permission from a parent or guardian.

Any plagiarism will result in an essay being disqualified.

Our judges for this competition will be Sunday National editor Roxanne Sorooshian, National columnist Lesley Riddoch and University of Glasgow professor of Scottish literature Alan Riach, who you’ll also know from our pages.

On what he’s looking for from the essays, Alan said: “I’d like to think that the essayists addressing the question, ‘Why should Scotland be independent?’ would engage speculation, wondering and playing with ideas, as well as showing themselves capable of marshalling facts and demonstrating conclusively the hard proof – without overwhelming anyone with avalanches of information.

“And there’s another challenge: how do you write persuasively about something you might think was already an obvious truth? Some novelty and originality of image or anecdote might help. But freshness of language and thought will be paramount.”

Lesley added: “This is a great way to focus minds creatively and reflect a little over the summer before the hurly-burly of the next indyref campaign begins.

“I’m not looking too much for facts, figures or even smart new strategies on the border, currency or EU. I’m hoping to read something that makes sense of where we are now, that’s positive and has a vision of Scotland beyond my lifetime. A tall order! But I’m sure lots of folk have it in them.”

We’ll also be in touch with our digital subscribers soon to explain how they can cast their own vote. Good luck!