THE Sunday National Yessay competition is entering a new phase – spotlighting more of the fantastic submissions sent in by our readers.

Earlier this year we asked for 1600-2200 words essays pitched to an undecided voter on why Scotland should be independent.

With great difficulty, the more than 100 entries were cut down to a shortlist of 20 voted on by readers on our website and our judging panel of Sunday National editor Roxanne Sorooshian, columnist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and University of Glasgow professor of Scottish literature Alan Riach.

As Lesley said at the time: “I have never read more uplifting and insightful essays in my life than these Yessay finalists.”

Alan concurred, adding: “I enjoyed all 20 of the shortlisted essays very much. They were each of them lucid and strong, packed with facts backed up by ­verified references and braced by ­passion and commitment.”

While those top 20 were available on our website, they were presented with roughly identical headlines, thumbnail images and no bylines.

That's changing now!

Every day, we’ll be publishing a Yessay on our website and, with the exception of days when the space is too in-demand, in our daily newspaper too.

This will start with the shortlisted 20, but move on to many of those that were not on the shortlist. There were excellent essays that we think would be of use to the Yes movement among them, without a doubt.

Our winner, Gerry Singh, showed the Yes movement at its best when he donated his prize money to help those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan.

He also said something very important: “What was going through my mind at the time of writing the essay was how important it is to contribute as individuals whatever skills we can bring to the table in making the case for independence as not just a political necessity but as something that will be to the benefit of everyone living in the UK as it is presently constructed.”

As Scotland’s pro-independence newspaper, we want to help broadcast the Yes movement’s voice and help Yessers co-ordinate and learn from each other.

These essays we’re putting online range across a wide variety of subject.

There’s one on Trident that would be perfect to send to a friend rattled by Vigil who is undecided on how to vote in indyref2.

Or maybe you’re just looking to hone your own arguments for independence, and reading these essays will fast get you up to date with that.

The essays are a big read, so perhaps you’ll want to save some for the weekend.

If you’re an online reader and wish to do so, by clicking the “Yessay” link on the bar above the main story on, you’ll be taken to a collection of them.

We’ll also be getting in touch with the authors of Yessays a week before they go live.

For me, above all, these Yessays have hammered home the importance of the cause we’re fighting for – which is obvious, but can get lost as we wait on for indyref2.

We hope you enjoy them as much as our team did!